While Victorino's speed and boundless energy are missed, the Phillies have found a worthwhile replacement in Jayson Werth. The seldom used backup -- who missed a month with a
strained left wrist -- has played well in Victorino's stead, hitting .282 with a .420 on-base percentage since Aug. 1.
Werth said he had been pulling off the ball early in the season, and feels he's corrected the problem.
"It's got a lot to do with being comfortable up there," Werth said. "I've been working on not bailing out, but that has to do with timing. I've been hot and cold, but getting regular at-bats has helped me. With Shane being out, I'm trying to make the most of the situation."
The Phillies tried but couldn't sign right-handed pitcher Brandon Workman, the team's third-round selection in June's First-Year Player Draft.
Workman, out of Bowie High School in Texas, was seeking second-round money.
"We offered an amount and they were looking for more, so we decided to move on," said Marti Wolever, the Phillies' director of scouting. "It was a significant enough gap that it made a difference. We saw him pitch all summer and he really didn't pitch very well, and we didn't feel it justified going beyond [the offer] based on the performance we had seen all year."
Workman was the lone unsigned player from the team's early picks, and the organization will be compensated with an extra third-round pick in the 2008 Draft, softening the blow. The Phillies signed 30 of their 51 selections, including 12th rounder Julian Sampson and 19th rounder Cedric Johnson just before Wednesday's midnight ET deadline.
The last two times reliever Michael Zagurski saw the Nationals, things went quite badly. The rookie lefty coughed up leads in consecutive days at Citizens Bank Park and was optioned to Triple-A Ottawa.
"It was more frustration, because I didn't execute a couple of pitches," Zagurski said. "Those things are going to happen. I've learned from it and hopefully, I can move on. Maybe I can be in that situation and I can think back to what went wrong."
Zagurski posted a 2.00 ERA with Ottawa and earned himself a callup while Adam Eaton rests his inflamed right shoulder. This season alone, he's played for Class A Clearwater, Double-A Reading, Ottawa and the Phillies.
"I have a lot of hats," he said. "I'll take the one with the 'P' on it. It's been an eventful year. I just wanted to make the Double-A club out of Spring Training, so it's been
Catcher Chris Coste found the right message for his good friend Mike Bacsik, the man who became famous by surrendering Barry Bonds' record 756th career homer.
Bacsik, a Phillie farmhand in 2005 and a well-documented Dallas Mavericks fan, received this text from Coste:
"You finally did it. You're more popular than Dirk Nowitzki."
Catcher Rod Barajas (strained right groin) said he's heading to Class A Lakewood on Friday to begin a rehabilitation assignment. He's been running the bases and throwing without incident. He expects to catch. He's eligible to be activated on Aug. 18. ... Manager Charlie Manuel said he's growing concerned about the high innings total for Kyle Kendrick. The rookie right-hander has thrown 156 innings between Reading and Philadelphia and is 20 away from his career high in a season. Organizations try to monitor young players as they develop. "He's never been in September, and that's a big thing," Manuel said. "That's a lot of baseball. Any time you see someone who hasn't put in a full season, you're concerned about it."
Righty J.D. Durbin, who faces the Pirates at PNC Park on Friday at 7:05 p.m. ET, has found success with the Phillies, his fourth organization this season, posting a 4.14 ERA in 10 appearances. He starts in place of Eaton, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday. Durbin's biggest issue is keeping his emotions under control, and not letting mishaps snowball into big innings.