CLEARWATER, Fla. - The Phillies held a short meeting in their clubhouse yesterday at Bright House Field to announce that first base coach
will undergo prostate cancer surgery later this month.
He is expected to make a full recovery but will miss six weeks after the surgery.
"He talked to me the other day and said he'll be fine," centerfielder Shane Victorino said. "He plans to be back soon. I'm hoping and praying that he'll be fine."
Jerry Martin, the outfielder coordinator for the organization's player development staff, will coach first base in the interim for Lopes, who wasn't available to comment yesterday because he was undergoing more tests.
"It's not a good situation for me, but I'm happy to fill in for him while he's out," Martin said. "Everybody in the clubhouse is pulling for him."
The cancer was detected last month when coaches underwent their physicals.
"Early detection is huge," lefthander Jamie Moyer said. "And it sounds like this is the case. But it's huge. It's huge. You tip your hat to the medical staff and the organization to have the physicals."
Lopes, a base-stealing guru, helped the Phillies set a major-league record last season when they were successful on 89.7 percent of their attempted steals.
"I give him almost all the credit," Victorino said. "He helped me make reads and get confidence to go out on my own, even if he's not there. He's definitely helped me in regards to making me a better base runner."
Lefthander Joe Savery, the team's first-round pick in June, fared better in his second appearance for the Phillies (3-2-1). He threw two scoreless innings, walking two and striking out one. He allowed four hits and five runs in one inning Thursday against the Pirates.
"I'm not a big-league pitcher right now. I know that," Savery said. "But I know that I'm not way out of my league, either. It was good. I wanted to show that there's going to be more innings like these down the road. More often than not, I feel I'm going to be able to compete at this level."
Lefthander Josh Outman threw three scoreless innings. Eric Bruntlett (.429) went 3 for 4 with two RBIs, and Ryan Howard (.462) went 2 for 3 with a double.
Moyer threw four scoreless innings in a B game against the Pirates. He allowed three hits and struck out three. . . . Righthander
threw live batting practice, throwing two 20-pitch sessions. Pitching coach
said Benson came out OK, but he's not sure when Benson could pitch in a Grapefruit League game.
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