Notes: Phillies bring in Branyan
Victorino closer to return; Myers searching for a theme song
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies purchased another bench option on Thursday, acquiring Russell Branyan from the Indians for cash considerations.Branyan provides a left-handed power alternative and versatile defense for late-game strategy. "We need another position player," said Charlie Manuel, who managed Branyan with the Indians in 2001. "Russell is a guy, when a manager's sitting over there and going to make a move, he'll play a part in his thinking. He strikes out, but at the same time, he's capable of hitting the ball out of the ballpark. "Like most sluggers, he's a hot-and-cold guy. He gets the ball up in the air, he's got a chance to hit it out." Branyan began the season with San Diego and hit .197 with seven homers and 19 RBIs in 61 games. Released on July 28, he was signed by Cleveland on Aug. 7 and assigned to Triple-A Buffalo. The 31-year-old is a .229 career hitter with five teams -- Cleveland, Cincinnati, Milwaukee, Tampa Bay and San Diego. He has played third base, left field, right field and first base. To make room for Branyan on the 25-man roster, the team optioned right-hander Geoff Geary to Triple-A Ottawa. Right-hander Zack Segovia was designated for assignment to make room for Branyan on the 40-man roster.
Getting close: Shane Victorino ran at "about 75 to 80 percent" and shagged fly balls on Thursday, and said that he was close to being ready for a rehab assignment.Victorino will likely play for Double-A Reading this weekend, beginning as early as Friday, when the R-Phils play at Trenton. He could appear in three games this weekend and be activated on Tuesday, when the Phillies are in Washington. "Once I get going full bore, we'll see," Victorino said. "Going out there and running balls down and jogging is never game-like. I definitely feel good, though." Because his game is so dependent on speed, he wants to make sure that his strained right calf is healed before resuming his typically aggressive style of play. "The acceleration part isn't there yet," he said. "I tried to do a couple of jumps [off first base] yesterday and it didn't feel well, but once I got going, it felt good. That's such a big part of my game, so it has to feel good. "I'm not going to do anything until I'm 100 percent. I don't want to have any lapses. I don't want to re-injure anything." Pick a song: Brett Myers spent a good deal of time with his iPod before Thursday's game, sifting through options for a proper entrance song. He wasn't happy to hear K.C. & The Sunshine Band's "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty" when he entered Wednesday's game, and let anyone within earshot know about it. "It ticked me off," Myers said after the game. "They need to do a poll in the paper to tell people to pick my song." New York's Mariano Rivera and Billy Wagner have Metallica's "Enter Sandman," San Diego's Trevor Hoffman makes an event out of AC/DC's "Hells Bells," Eric Gagne uses Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle," Boston's Jonathan Papelbon has Dropkick Murphy's "I'm Shipping Up to Boston" and Seattle's J.J. Putz motors in to AC/DC's "Thunderstruck." Myers said that he's narrowed down the choices, and a finalist is believed to be "Lights Out," by P.O.D. Myers has used both White Zombie's "Children of the Grave" and The Outlaws' "(Ghost) Rider in the Sky" this season, though neither has stuck. He hopes to settle on one soon, though knowing Myers, it could take a while. No third for Tadahito: Maybe Tadahito Iguchi won't play third base, despite the feeling that he may take grounders there once Chase Utley returns from the disabled list. "I would say it's a very remote, remote possibility," general manager Pat Gillick told Comcast SportsNet. "It's a different position. A lot of times, people that can play the middle of the diamond have a tough time moving to the corners." Of course, this doesn't mean the Phillies won't try it. Philling In: The Phillies have pushed back the start time of Friday's game to 7:35 p.m., with the Wall of Fame ceremony for the late John Vukovich scheduled to begin at 7:05. That ceremony kicks off the team's annual Alumni Weekend. Coming up: Friday starter Cole Hamels, who will be on the hill for the opener with the Braves, didn't have his best stuff against Milwaukee on Aug. 4. He allowed two hits -- one a solo homer -- through five innings, then let the Brewers back in the game with a three-run sixth. The lefty is 2-0 in three starts against Atlanta this season. He pitched scoreless seven innings against the Braves in his first start of the season, but finished with a no-decision.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.