Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Shane Victorino

As the dismantling of the 2015 Sox starts (and hopefully doesn't end anytime soon), Shane Victorino gets traded to the Angels for an infielder, Josh Rutledge, nobody's ever heard of outside serious fans, and for good reason.  Essentially, Victorino got traded to free up a roster spot for Rusney Castillo, who will finally get a lot of playing time to see if he was worth the 7-year, $70 million-plus investment.  So far he's been a bust, in big and small ways.

But let's speak of Victorino.  When healthy, he's my kind of player.  What he does well when healthy:

--GG defense

--lots of singles and doubles

--lots of walks and HBP (the latter of which he made an art form)

--high OBP

--valuable 1 or 2 guy in the lineup

--first-to-third, stolen base guy

--awesome dugout and clubhouse presence (which can be over-rated, but not in his case)

--good hit-and-run guy because he doesn't strike out a lot

--good small-ball guy; moves the runners along, can bunt, hit to the right side, etc.

--good in the post-season, as his 12 RBIs in the 2013 Postseason and his two World Series rings show

--cheerful, motivational, wants to play every game kind of guy

You may be surprised to know that he was the 7th-best outfielder in all of baseball in 2013, according to his total value number on baseball-reference.com.

The problem is that in the last two years he hasn't been able to be on the field consistently.  I doubt he's milking an injury, too; he wants to play.  Now he'll get the chance, with a 1st-place team that should make the playoffs.  He gets to play with Trout and Pujols, too, and he'll be a valuable 4th outfielder, pinch-runner, late inning defensive replacement kind of guy.  If healthy, he can step in to a major role there, too.  He's a free agent at the end of this season, so who knows where he'll be next?

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