CHICAGO -- As the July 31 Trade Deadline approaches, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel made one thing perfectly clear: Don't just get somebody. Get somebody who can make a real difference.
"I'm talking about a good one," said Manuel, who said the Phillies need both a right-handed bat and a relief pitcher. "If we can find a good bat and we don't get a good reliever, well, then we'll take the good bat. I want somebody good. If we're going to get somebody, I want somebody good. I want somebody that's going to help us. I don't want to get what we've already got."
It sounds like Manuel is thinking big.
"I always think big," he said.
The Phillies have indicated they might be unable to add a dynamic talent because of payroll issues and concerns about further depleting their farm system. But Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. has spent time recently in Clearwater, Fla., scouting a talented Class A pitching staff. The Phillies could decide to part with some of that promising talent. They also could decide to expand payroll at the last moment, which they have done in the recent past (i.e. Cliff Lee).
"There's some guys out there," Manuel said. "They're going to be hard to get. We'll see. Ruben and our front office, they do a pretty good job with that."
Back woes lingering, Polanco will get injection
CHICAGO -- Placido Polanco is a frustrated man.
The discomfort in his lower back from a bulging disc is lingering, so he approached the Phillies' training staff Monday at Wrigley Field and told them he would like a cortisone injection to speed up the recovery process. That is significant because Polanco had been reluctant to take a shot after he had four last year: three in his right elbow and one in his back in the postseason.
He said he could get the shot Thursday.
"I was trying to avoid the shot," he said inside the cramped visitor's clubhouse. "But I was the one that came up to them and told them, 'This keeps bothering me. Let's just go ahead and go with the second option.'"
Polanco is eligible to be activated from the disabled list Wednesday, but clearly that will not happen. He said he felt OK after swinging a bat Friday in New York but hasn't felt good since.
Victorino activated Tuesday in Chicago
CHICAGO -- Placido Polanco's back might not be improving, but Shane Victorino is ready to rejoin the Phillies' lineup after being activated from the disabled list Tuesday.
Victorino has been on the disabled list since July 4 because of a strained ligament in his right thumb, but after a few rehab games he said he is ready to go. The Phillies optioned Pete Orr to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after their 3-1 loss on Monday, opening a spot for Victorino.
Victorino said he still feels some discomfort in the thumb, and he expects to continue to feel it. But he said he should be fine on the field.
Will he try to slide head first? He might, depending on the situation.
"I don't think. You know how it is sometimes," he said. "I just go."
But to protect himself from jamming the thumb, he said he will wear a brace whenever he gets on base.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.