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08/15/07 8:57 PM ET
Notes: Eaton sidelined by injury
Shoulder inflammation lands right-hander on 15-day DL
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
WASHINGTON -- Adam Eaton will have two weeks to rest his inflamed right shoulder, after the Phillies placed their free-agent acquisition on the 15-day disabled list. Eaton will also use the time to clear his head, which appears to be the bigger issue. "How serious is it? I don't know," manager Charlie Manuel said, trying to gauge the extent of damage to Eaton's right shoulder. "I think it's time for him to have some down time. This is good for him mentally and physically." Manuel compared Eaton to a slumping hitter who digs a bigger hole for himself because he presses. The team will insert J.D. Durbin into Eaton's spot, and Eaton, with his DL stint backdated to Aug. 12, could return to the rotation for the Aug. 27 series against the Mets, a team that Eaton is 5-0 with a 1.89 against in his career. The team revealed that Eaton had mentioned some shoulder soreness over the past month, though the pitcher never mentioned it to the media, despite repeated questions regarding his health. The right-hander visited team doctor Michael Ciccotti on Sunday -- one day after he allowed six runs in three innings to the Braves -- and received a cortisone shot. Instead of letting Eaton test it Friday in Pittsburgh, the team opted for the disabled list. "Obviously, I have to get back on the horse, you know?" Eaton said. "But the horse is going to be waiting in the stable for a couple of weeks for me. I'd like to be out there, but at the same time, maybe the best thing to do is to wait." The Phillies hope to place Eaton on a throwing program in five days, and go from there. Before Wednesday's announcement, Manuel grappled with the decision of removing Eaton from the rotation anyway. With Michael Zagurski -- who had been performing well in Triple-A Ottawa -- providing a better bullpen option, disabling Eaton with shoulder wear to let him straighten out his shoulder woes gave the organization a convenient out. "To me, this is giving him a break to get himself right mentally and physically," Manuel said. "That's the way I think of it." Eaton has compiled a 7.96 ERA in his previous 10 outings, and an 11.37 ERA in his previous three. Had he had, say a 4.00 in those starts, could Eaton have potentially pitched through this? "That's the beauty of the game, isn't it?" Eaton said. "If I was 3-0 in my last three starts with a sore shoulder, would this have happened? Probably not. Everybody knows that right now, I'm not at the level I should be." "It depends on what his last three performances were like," pitching coach Rich Dubee added. "If he was commanding [his pitches], pitching effectively, and could tolerate the pain, yeah, maybe [he could still pitch]. Generally, when guys don't command well, there's an issue. If he had a 1.00 ERA over the last three games he'd obviously be commanding the ball pretty good and throwing with a good angle." Two draft picks inked: RHP Julian Sampson and OF Cedric Johnson, Philadelphia's 12th and 19th round selections, respectively, in the 2007 June First-Year Player Draft, were signed, bringing the total to 30 of 51 players under contract. The Phillies believe Sampson has the potential to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter. The 18-year-old went 7-1 with a 1.88 ERA in nine starts for Skyline High School in Sammamish, Wash. He was ranked 43rd on Baseball America's list of the Top 300 high school players in the United States. Johnson, 18, hit .410 with 11 doubles, six triples, five homers and 40 RBIs in 21 games for Thatcher High School (Thatcher, Ariz). His two older brothers, Elliot and Leon, play Minor League baseball in the Devil Rays' and Cubs' organizations, respectively. The Phillies don't appear close to signing third-round pick Brandon Workman, a right-handed pitcher, by Wednesday's deadline. Quotable: "[Carlos Ruiz] had catching gear on and [Greg] Dobbs knocked him out. I told him I'm going to put football equipment on him. Dobbs TKOed him." Manuel, on the collision between Dobbs and Ruiz on a seventh-inning foul pop by Brian Schneider. Ruiz made the catch, but was hit in the face by Dobbs' glove, then his other hand. He stayed on the ground for a few minutes, but remained in the game. Philling in: Shane Victorino will be shut down for a few days after pulling himself from his rehab assignment with Double-A Reading on Tuesday. Victorino felt something in his strained right calf after hitting a nubber to the pitcher in his third at-bat. He likely won't be activated on Friday, as the team had hoped. ... Zagurski compiled an ERA of 2.00 in seven appearances with Triple-A Ottawa, allowing seven hits and six walks in nine innings, while striking out 11. "I think he's throwing pretty good," Manuel said. "He can go two innings if we need him to." Coming up: Left-hander Cole Hamels spotted the Braves four runs in the first inning of his Aug. 10 start, then tossed six hitless frames to pick up his 13th win of the season. The total surpassed last year's team-best total of 12, posted by Brett Myers. Hamels picked up a no-decision the last time he faced the Nats. The two teams tangle in the series finale at 7:05 p.m. ET on Thursday at RFK Stadium.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.