You get the feeling that if it were up to Shane Victorino, he would already be back in Philadelphia and would be playing every inning of every game. Instead, the Phillies have him at Lehigh Valley, where he'll play three games, with his first coming last night. In his first game, Victorino was limited by the Phillies to just five innings and he'll progress to seven innings and then a full nine innings on Thursday night for Lehigh Valley.
"I felt great swinging the bat from the right side. My timing's a little off, but everything else was good," reported Victorino after his five inning stint.
In his first game back, Victorino was able to pick up a base hit, slide hard into second in an attempt to break up a double-play and make a sprint after a line drive that he was able to flag down a line drive. It basically looked like a full night's agenda for Victorino, but there was one test that he wasn't able to give himself. "I want to try to dive back [into first base]. That's the one thing. That's the test," explained Victorino.
Victorino said he felt so good after his time on the field that he was headed to the indoor cage at Coca-Cola Park to get some extra swings. Stressing that he didn't want to overdo anything, Victorino explained that he truly felt good enough to keep going and wanted to take advantage of that to work on his timing. All of his moves on the field looked smooth and effortless, including a strong, hard slide into second base in an attempt to break up a double-play. "Sliding into second, there was no hesitation. I wanted to try to break up the double-play, but it felt good."
Defensively, Victorino had to make a long run into short left-center field to track down a line drive and his speed was there, enabling him to make the play. "That felt good," expressed Victorino with a smile.
Victorino's rehab continues on Wednesday and Thursday nights with the IronPigs, who will be hosting the Pawtucket Red Sox. Pawtucket's lineup will feature newly signed Carlos Delgado, who is getting back into playing shape with Pawtucket before joining the Red Sox for the pennant stretch either later this month or in early September. Delgado played his first game with Pawtucket on Monday night and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.