POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Jul 6, 2011
MIAMI » After Sunday, the Philadelphia Phillies' coaching staff will have a midsummer break for the first time in three years. Many of the team's players will spend the four days with family or simply relax, knowing a successful first half is complete.
Charlie Manuel is just about ready for that time to come.
"We're trying to get people well," Manuel said. "I don't know how you keep them well, but we're trying to get well."
The newest concern is Shane Victorino, whose jammed right thumb was troublesome enough to merit a flight to Philadelphia for an appointment with hand specialist Randall Culp.
The team announced Tuesday that the center fielder has a grade-one sprain of his right thumb, and assistant general manager Scott Proefrock didn't rule out the possibility of placing him on the disabled list.
A grade-one sprain is the least severe.
"He's feeling better," Proefrock said. "We will make a decision on what our course of action will be with him in the next 48 hours."
Victorino injured the thumb Sunday when he stumbled on the Rogers Centre turf in Toronto and fell on the hand, jamming the thumb into the ground. Swelling had not subsided Monday, and he wore a compression sleeve.
He was given a few tests immediately after the game Sunday that showed nothing major, Proefrock said. But when the swelling didn't go down Monday night, the Phils decided to send him home. It is uncertain when Victorino will return.
"He can't grip the ball, and it's hard to grip the bat," manager Charlie Manuel said.
Victorino, a St. Anthony alum, was replaced in the starting lineup by Michael Martinez.
Victorino is the early leader in the major league baseball All-Star Game's Final Vote.
Victorino is in first place among the five National League players in the July 12 game's final vote. He leads Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, Nationals outfielder/first baseman Michael Morse and Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy.
The Final Vote gives fans the opportunity to select the final player on each All-Star team.
The AL players in the Final Vote are Alex Gordon (Royals OF), Adam Jones (Orioles OF), Paul Konerko (White Sox 1B/DH), Victor Martinez (Tigers DH/C) and Ben Zobrist (Rays 2B).
Victorino and Konerko hold slim leads with more than 22 million votes cast.
Victorino won the final vote in 2009, when he campaigned on the streets of Philadelphia with Mayor Michael Nutter. The Phillies, however, are on the road this week.
Visit phillies.com/votevictorino, and vote 25 times maximum.
Voting ends Thursday at 10 a.m. Hawaii time.