Under eerily similar circumstances, Shane Victorino was placed on the 15-day disabled list following last night's 7-1 defeat of the Cubs. He left the game in the seventh inning and was replaced by Geoff Jenkins. Victorino was diagnosed with a strained right calf; the same injury he suffered last year against the Cubs in late July. After a slow start, Victorino had picked up his hitting of late, so it's quite frustrating to see him go down in the midst of a hot streak.
To fill the void, the Phillies called up outfield Chris Snelling from Triple-A Lehigh Valley. The 26 year-old Snelling has played sparingly in the majors. He logged 30 games in 2007 with the Oakland Athletics and the Washington Nationals, 24 of which came in Washington. In that time he hit .246 with 1 HR and 7 RBIs. He did however show extraordinary plate patience, posting a .395 OBP.
Snelling will most likely be used primarily as a corner outfielder and pinch hitter. He's never been much of a base-stealer (only two career stolen bases) and he has only logged six games in center field in his career. With Jayson Werth and So Taguchi on the roster, there shouldn't be any need to utilize Snelling in center and there's a good chance he'll see some time in left field as Pat Burrell's defensive replacement.
One has to wonder how long Snelling's stay will be. Victorino's 2007 injury kept him out of commission for about three weeks, and he wasn't the same player after returning. Looking to avoid that this year, the Phillies will most likely exercise extra caution. If the injury lingers, Snelling could be replaced by one of the Phillies minor league prospects, such as Greg Golson, who would make up for some of the lost speed. However, for now it will be Snelling trying to find a niche in the majors.
Meanwhile, we'll have our work cut out for us coming up with a Chris Snelling-themed fan group. Any suggestions?
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