Victorino feels Philly connection
PHILADELPHIA Shane Victorino kept his emotions in check, but it wasn't easy.
When the Phillies ran a video tribute to the guy who was a staple in their outfield for seven seasons, including the 2008 World Series-winning squad, he was touched, but held back any tears.
"I was told they were going to do a little video tribute showing some highlights, and (to give me a chance) to say one last thank you to the fans," said Victorino, on the 15-day disabled list for the Red Sox with a strained hamstring. "I would have loved to have done it walking to the plate."
Victorino has strong attachments to Philadelphia he still has a home in the area, and on more than one occasion in the last few days he slipped up and used "we" when talking about the Phillies.
"People are going to say we aren't as good not we, they are not as good," Victorino said. "I think they are a good team. I still cheer for those guys. I caught myself cheering for the guys when they had good at-bats."
However, as someone always willing to give his opinion, yet separated from needing to toe the company line, the veteran had some interesting assessments after watching the Phils for a few days.
"Looking from afar the last three games," he said, "people are going to try and find answers as to why you aren't playing up to expectations. To me, if they can get healthy … during our run, we had all eight guys out there. Yeah, we had one or two guys go down for a while, but for the most part we were healthy and eight of us were out there every night."
Chase Utley tested his oblique Thursday with some light fielding, and all went well. Although it is unlikely he will be ready to come off the disabled list when he's eligible in a week, Utley said it is more about being conservative than any perceived setback.
"So far, so good. It's all about taking the next step," he said. "We just want to make sure we all feel comfortable in making that next step. Today was a step.
"It probably won't be 15 days (on the DL), but I don't have a timetable for you. As soon as it feels good, I'll put more stress on it and go from there."
With Utley out and Michael Young on the bereavement list for at least another couple of days, the Phillies gave Cesar Hernandez his first big-league start at second base. He singled in his first at-bat of the game for his first big-league hit after going 0-for-2 as a late-game sub Wednesday.
NOTES: The Phillies host the Brewers for a three-game series this weekend, with Cole Hamels trying to avoid falling to 1-9 this season when he opposes Yovani Gallardo today. … The scouting staff discussed next month's draft with reporters this afternoon. The Phils have the 16th overall pick in the first round. They also have two third-round picks thanks to being unable to sign Alec Rash, who was selected in the third round last year. …