05/24/11 1:20 AM ET
Contreras could rejoin Phillies this week
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
Right-hander Jose Contreras (strained right flexor pronator tendon) was scheduled to make a rehab appearance Monday with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, but the game was rained out. He will start Tuesday's game for Lehigh Valley. If he feels OK, he will be activated this week.
Center fielder Shane Victorino (strained right hamstring) said he could be activated as early as June 3, the first day he is eligible to be activated. He is making good progress.
Right-hander Brad Lidge (strained right posterior rotator cuff) and catcher Brian Schneider (strained left hamstring) are in Clearwater, Fla., continuing their rehab.
Amaro confident Phils' offense will perk up
PHILADELPHIA -- Ruben Amaro Jr. cautioned Monday that Chase Utley is no savior for the Phillies' offense.
He said the same about Domonic Brown, whom the club recalled Friday.
"The other guys have to pull their weight, too," he said.
The Phillies' 10-3 win on Monday was a departure from a recent trend. The club entered the series opener against the Cincinnati Reds having scored three or fewer runs in nine consecutive games. They averaged just 1.7 runs per game in that stretch. But it was more than a nine-game slump. Including their eruption against the Reds, the Phillies rank 20th in baseball in on-base percentage (.314) and runs (186) and 22nd in slugging percentage (.372).
Amaro said he is confident the Phillies can turn things around but said something must be done if they don't.
"If we don't produce, we're going to have to figure out a way to have them produce. Whether it's internally or externally, we'll have to try to get better," he said. "I don't think we can survive getting two runs a game the next 100 games. ... I think the personnel we have here can produce. I think they have in the past. I think they will again. We'll just have to be cognizant of what's going on."
Asked if the Phillies have financial flexibility to make a move, Amaro said, "No, I don't."
The Phillies have a payroll of more than $175 million, which has them close to Major League Baseball's $178 million luxury tax threshold.
So how does one make an external improvement with no payroll flexibility?
"You can be creative," Amaro said.
Two possibilities: the Phillies shed payroll by trading a player on the 25-man roster, or they trade significant talent from the Minor Leagues and have a team pay most of its player's salary in exchange.
Blanton seeking second opinion on elbow
PHILADELPHIA -- Most times when a pitcher sees orthopedist Dr. James Andrews, it is bad news.
Phillies right-hander Joe Blanton is optimistic this is not one of those times.
But Blanton, who is on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow, will travel to Florida on Wednesday to get a second opinion from Andrews. Blanton has been on the disabled list twice this season because of the joint. Two MRIs have shown no structural damage, but he wants to be certain it is nothing more serious.
"It's just kind of a second opinion, really," Blanton said. "That's really all it is."
Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Blanton has inflammation in the lining of the elbow joint, plus lateral and medial inflammation.
"That's all we see right now," Amaro said. "We don't see any structural damage. We'll see if Andrews sees anything else."
Amaro said Blanton likely will be shut down from throwing two to three weeks, although Blanton is hopeful it is less than that.
Phils ink Podsednik to Minor League deal
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies and outfielder Scott Podsednik agreed to terms Sunday on a Minor League contract.
He will report to Clearwater, Fla., once he passes his physical. He eventually will play with Triple-A Lehigh Valley but will start in Clearwater because he has not played in 10 days. Podsednik, a former All-Star with the Chicago White Sox, hit .254 in 59 at-bats this season with Triple-A Las Vegas, which is the Toronto Blue Jays affiliate. He had an out clause in his contract, which allowed him to become a free agent.
"We wanted to give our pool of players a little more depth," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "He's had some success. Some speed. He does some things that could help us later on. If we falter at the big league level or continue to have as little success as we've had offensively, if he's playing well it's something we need to consider."
Victorino honored for charity work
PHILADELPHIA -- The United States Jaycees has named Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino one of its 2011 Ten Outstanding Young Americans. The organization annually recognizes "the finest attributes of America's youthful achievers."
Victorino was recognized for his work with the Shane Victorino Foundation.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.