PHILADELPHIA -- Left-hander Cole Hamels is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Friday in Washington. He remains on course to rejoin the rotation next week after missing a start because of inflammation in his left shoulder.
"He's been progressing really well," general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "Cole likes to joke with me. He said, 'Oh, it's falling off.' We're not going to rush these guys back. There's no reason to rush him back."
Amaro added that third baseman Placido Polanco, who is on the disabled list with a sports hernia, could possibly rejoin the team next week as well.
Hand sore, Howard out of Thursday's lineup
PHILADELPHIA -- Ryan Howard said that his right hand felt a little sore on Thursday but that it should not be a problem.
Howard felt weakness in the hand following an at-bat on Wednesday. He was held out of Thursday's lineup, although general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. and manager Charlie Manuel do not think the injury is serious, and Howard is available to play if needed.
Catcher Carlos Ruiz also was not in the lineup on Thursday after sustaining a left testicle contusion on Tuesday, though he, too, is available if needed.
Victorino begins serving reduced suspension
PHILADELPHIA -- Major League Baseball on Wednesday reduced Shane Victorino's suspension to two games, and he began serving it on Thursday.
Victorino had initially been suspended three games and fined an undisclosed amount for his role in a bench-clearing incident against the Giants at AT&T Park on Aug. 5.
Victorino spoke with the Commissioner's office earlier this week to plead his case, which resulted in the reduced suspension.
Amaro comfortable with squad as is
PHILADELPHIA -- If the Phillies could tweak their roster before the Aug. 31 waiver Trade Deadline, there are a couple of things they could do:
Add a left-handed bat to the bench.
Add a situational left-hander to the bullpen.
"Would we like to have a perfect team?" general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said on Thursday. "We're still keeping our eyes open on possibilities, but I'm comfortable with the club we have right now."
Ross Gload, who started at first base on Thursday against the D-backs, is the only left-handed hitter on the bench other than catcher Brian Schneider, who is kept from pinch-hitting situations in case of an injury to Carlos Ruiz. Gload is playing with an injured hip, which has limited him. He has hit .250 with four doubles and six RBIs in just 76 at-bats, but he has hit just .100 since July 2.
"It would be difficult to do something, because we're basically last in line," Amaro said.
Because a player must clear waivers before he can be traded, the Phillies are in a difficult spot. They have the best record in baseball, which means they often have the last shot at claiming a player.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.