Results tagged ‘ Shane Victorino ’

Strange Sights


Shane Victorino went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his Dodgers debut. He hit leadoff and played left field.

Strange to see him in Dodgers blue, no?

Can These Guys Play?

Here is what MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo wrote today on the prospects the Phillies got in the Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence deals:

HUNTER PENCE

  • Tommy Joseph, C: The 2012 Futures Gamer was ranked No. 5 on the Giants’ Top 20 at the time of the trade. Drafted in 2009 out of the Arizona high school ranks, his calling card was his bat, with many feeling he wouldn’t be able to stay behind the plate long-term. The bat was on display in 2011 as he broke out as a power-hitting run producer. He hasn’t been as dangerous with the move to Double-A, but he still has solid hitting skills, especially if he can continue to improve his plate discipline. His defensive game has improved tremendously – a strong arm in particular helps control the running game – and questions about him staying behind the plate have ended. He could be ready to take over when Carlos Ruiz’s contract is up after the 2013 season.
  • Seth Rosin, RHP: Rosin was the No. 19 prospect on the Giants’ Top 20 at the time of the trade Taken out of the University of Minnesota in 2010, he began his first full season as a starter, but then moved to the bullpen and that’s his long-term home. Out of the pen, his fastball hits the mid-to-upper 90s in shorter stints and he commands it well. He has a very good changeup to go along with it. His breaking ball isn’t as good, but he can thrive with two pitches in short relief.

SHANE VICTORINO

  • Ethan Martin, RHP: Martin was the No. 7 prospect on the Dodgers’ Top 20 at the time of the trade. A 2008 first-round pick, Martin has been a little slow to develop, but patience can be a virtue when it comes to high-ceiling young arms with arm strength. Martin still has the raw stuff that made him a hot commodity coming out of the Georgia high school ranks four years ago. He has a plus fastball and curve and his changeup is continuing to improve. In his second taste of Double-A, it does appear like things are starting to come together for the right-hander. His command has improved, though he still needs to refine that to be a starter at the highest level. His power stuff would play well coming out of the bullpen, but at age 23, it might be too early to give up on him as a starter, especially given his improvement this season.

Rollins, Hamels and Other Reaction from Clubhouse

Here is what some Phillies said about today’s trades that sent Shane Victorino to Los Angeles and Hunter Pence to San Francisco:

JIMMY ROLLINS
How did you take the news?
Like you take anything. It’s nothing new. I’ve been through it before unfortunately.

But this year has been unexpected?
The results this year? The record?

Usually you’re bringing guys in?
At the end of the year Shane was going to be a free agent anyway, you know? We knew that his time here was over or they were going to work out something in the offseason. The season was going to dictate the length of his time here. Even if we were winning it wasn’t a guarantee he was going to be here. The writing was already on the wall that his tenure here may have been over.

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Victorino to LA; Pence to SF Next?

Shane Victorino provided some of the greatest and most memorable moments for the Phillies in recent memory.

He played his last game for them Sunday in Atlanta.

Sources confirmed the Phillies and Dodgers have finalized a trade Tuesday that will send Victorino to Los Angeles for right-handed relief pitcher Josh Lindblom and Double-A right-handed relief pitcher Ethan Martin.

Triple-A Lehigh Valley outfielder Domonic Brown is on his way to Nationals Park, where the Phillies open a three-game series Tuesday against the Nationals. It remains to be seen where Brown will play because the Phillies still could trade rightfielder Hunter Pence before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. Trade Deadline. The Giants have been pursuing him aggressively, and a deal is in the works.

The Phillies are looking to overhaul their roster after a remarkably disappointing season. Moving Victorino, who will become a free agent after the season, to the Dodgers allowed them to bolster their bullpen, which has been a weakness.

Victorino had been looking for a five-year contract once he hit the open market. The Phillies were not going to sign him to a multiyear extension, so it made sense to move him rather than let him leave with nothing in return after the season.

Lindblom is 2-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 48 appearances this season for the Dodgers. He cannot become a free agent until 2018. Martin was the Dodgers’ first-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft. He is 8-6 with a 3.58 ERA in 20 starts this season with Double-A Chattanooga.

The Phillies also have been talking to the Orioles about a trade involving Joe Blanton, although it appears the remaining $3 million on Blanton’s contract will kill the deal. The Orioles want the Phillies to pick up a substantial portion of the contract, which makes little sense to them if they are getting a lesser prospect in return.

Victorino to LA Deal Gets Close

The Phillies and Dodgers are closing on a deal that would send Shane Victorino to Los Angeles, a source confirmed to MLB.com.

The Dodgers would send the Phillies right-handed reliever Josh Lindblom and a second player.

Triple-A Lehigh Valley outfielder Domonic Brown is on his way to Nationals Park, where the Phillies open a three-game series Tuesday against the Nationals. That is a sure sign a deal is imminent, although it remains to be seen where he plays. The Phillies also have been trying to trade rightfielder Hunter Pence. The Giants have been pursuing him.

Don’t rule out the Phillies trading both Victorino and Pence on the same day.

ESPN.com first reported the Phillies and Dodgers were close to the finish line on the trade.

The Phillies are looking to overhaul their roster after a remarkably disappointing season. Moving Victorino, who will become a free agent after the season, to the Dodgers will allow the Phillies to bolster their bullpen, which has been a weakness.

Victorino had been looking for a five-year contract once he hit the open market. The Phillies seemed unlikely to sign him, so it makes sense to move him rather than let him leave with nothing in return after the season.

Lindblom is 2-2 with a 3.02 ERA in 48 appearances this season for the Dodgers. He cannot become a free agent until 2018.

The Phillies have been talking to the Orioles about a trade involving Joe Blanton, although it appears the remaining $3 million on Blanton’s contract could kill the deal. The Orioles want the Phillies to pick up a substantial portion of the contract, which makes little sense to them if they are getting a lesser prospect in return.

Improvers Should Improve

The Phillies don’t like to call themselves buyers or sellers.

They’re improvers, they said.

Well, it’s time to improve for 2013.

Charlie Manuel said yesterday the Phillies still have a heartbeat, but he understands the reality of the situation. They’re on pace to finish 71-91 and have given nobody any reason to believe they can put together the type of run they need to make the postseason for the sixth consecutive year. They knew they needed to win 2 of 3 or sweep this weekend in Atlanta, but they got swept instead. The Braves currently hold the second NL Wild Card and are on pace to finish 91-71, which means the Phillies would need to finish 46-14 (.767) to tie. That’s right, the Phillies would need to win more than three of every four games the rest of the season just to get into contention with the Pirates and Braves, assuming those teams keep their current pace. But the Phillies are just 8-7 (.533) since the break.

It doesn’t look like they’re up for the miracle of miracles.

The trade deadline is 4 p.m. tomorrow.

Is there any reason not to make a few trades to improve for next season?

Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton seem to be the most likely to go. Victorino could help a few outfields and Blanton could help a few rotations, much like he helped the Phillies rotation in 2008. Juan Pierre could help somebody. Hunter Pence‘s name is swirling around San Francisco, although every credible reporter there and nationally has dumped on the San Francisco TV report the Giants are simply awaiting approval from ownership to complete a deal. Personally, I don’t think it makes much sense to trade Pence unless they get quite a haul in return. They’ll need him next season. But if you can get something of value in return for Victorino and Blanton — a couple bullpen arms maybe? — then I think you have to do it. Sure, it would mean John Mayberry Jr. playing every day in center field the rest of the season, but it also might mean Domonic Brown playing every day in left field the rest of the season. And don’t the Phillies have to give Brown a two-month tryout, so they have a better idea of how they’re going to tackle the outfield in the offseason? I’m not sure they can go into next season hoping Brown can handle the job. They entered the previous two seasons hoping Ben Francisco could handle right field in place of Jayson Werth and Mayberry could handle left field in place of Raul Ibanez, and both fell far short of expectations.

Trading Victorino, Blanton, Pierre and others won’t make for pretty baseball the last two months of the season, but the first four months of the season haven’t been pretty with them.

Time to cut bait. Time to improve.

What It Takes

Before the Phillies opened the second half of their season Friday in Colorado, what would you have said they needed to play in 15 games before the trade deadline to keep Cole Hamels, Shane Victorino and others?

I thought for a while they would need to finish 10-5, but the more I think about it the more I think it has to be better than that.

If they finish a very good 10-5 they’ll still be eight games under .500 entering the trade deadline. Is that good enough for Ruben Amaro Jr.? Should it be? If you’re looking at things with a cold and calculated eye it shouldn’t be. Entering tonight’s game at Dodger Stadium, the Phillies are 10 games out of the NL Wild Card with eight teams ahead of them in the standings. The Pirates, who currently hold the second Wild Card spot, are on pace to win 89 games. The Phillies need to finish 49-22 (.690) to win 89.

So say it’s July 30 or 31 and the Phillies are 10-5 since the break. They’re looking better. Roy Halladay has stabilized the rotation, taking pressure off the bullpen. Chase Utley and Ryan Howard look closer to form. They’re playing good, solid baseball. You start to think, “Boy, maybe these guys can get on a run.” But then you look at the standings and see the Phillies are 47-55, still way behind the Nationals in the NL East and something like seven or eight games behind the Wild Card leaders with seven teams ahead of them in the standings.

Then a team like the Rangers call.

Hey, Ruben. Listen, we thought about it and we’ll give you that package you want for Hamels. We’re just too close to winning the World Series not to go for it. What do you say?

What do you say? Do you say no on a long shot to win a Wild Card spot, which only guarantees one playoff game? Do you pass up on an opportunity to get younger and fill a few holes, like finding a power-hitting third baseman you sorely need?

These were the things running through my mind as I headed to the visitor’s clubhouse following last night’s 3-2 victory over the Dodgers. The victory gave the Phillies a three-game winning streak, their first winning streak of three or more games since May 23-26. It also was the first time since May 13 they won a game when scoring three or fewer runs.

Does 12-3 convince Amaro to stand pat? They’d still be four games under .500, and they still would need to play 40-20 (.667) the rest of the way to finish with 89 wins. But it’s a more difficult decision at that point. Fans will start getting excited again. They’ll start believing. But don’t you have to push through and make the trade anyway? If it’s the package you want I think you probably do. But it must be the package you want. No settling. You can’t get Vicente Padilla, Travis Lee, Omar Daal and Nelson Figueroa, like they got for Curt Schilling in 2000. They can’t get Placido Polanco, Bud Smith and Mike Timlin, like they got for Scott Rolen in 2002. They have to get the guys they want.

Tough call, isn’t it?

So what would it take for you not to sell?

Tell me what it takes to let you go

*

Jimmy Rollins played coy or simply did not want to answer my questions about waiving his trade rights.

Deep Thoughts …

Hola, amigos.

I’ve been laying low a few days, recharging the batteries and getting back to neutral after a long first half. But I’m back and it’s a gorgeous afternoon at Dodger Stadium. Things are good. Well, things are good except for the Phillies. They are 39-51, 14 games behind the Nationals and 11 games behind the Wild Card leaders — even after taking 2 of 3 from the Rockies this weekend.

I know a lot has been written about the next couple weeks, but I thought I’d offer my take.

In no particular order:

  • The Phillies will make their best offer to Cole Hamels soon. I expect him to reject it, unless he is absolutely blown away. What does that mean? Well, the Phillies signed Cliff Lee to a five-year, $120 million contract in Dec. 2010. If the Phillies offer Hamels five years, $125 million or five years, $130 million with some sort of sixth-year option or whatever, I don’t think that’s going to blow him away. I just don’t. Now, a seven year, $175 million offer might get the job done, but I’m not sure the Phillies will go that far. Hamels has said everything right over the past couple weeks. He says he wants to stay in Philadelphia. He says he trusts the organization will do everything it can to be competitive next season and beyond. But he also says this is one of the only times in his life he can discover his true value. Hamels is two or three months away from free agency. Really, why sign now?
  • If Hamels doesn’t sign I think the Phillies must trade him. I have read a lot of stories about how the new salary arbitration rules could hurt the Phillies’ chances of getting a big haul for him because a team won’t receive compensatory draft picks if he leaves after the season. I don’t believe that. Let’s look at the Rangers, for example. If the Rangers believe they are one piece away from winning a World Series, are they really going to hold up a deal because they don’t want to trade Double-A third baseman Mike Olt? He might be one of the best prospects in baseball, but at the moment he is just a prospect. Big teams have to roll the dice and take a shot. You play to win the World Series. The Phillies rolled the dice the past few seasons. They came up short, but at least they took a shot. Of course a team like the Pirates won’t give the Phillies what they want because they have no shot at signing Hamels following the season and they’re more than one piece away from winning the World Series. But a team like the Rangers or Angels? If push comes to shove I think somebody will put together an attractive package for Hamels.
  • The Phillies will take a PR hit for trading Hamels, but they shouldn’t let that influence their decision making. Bad PR today will be forgotten if they make a great trade and the Phillies make the playoffs next season. In the end, winning is the only thing that matters. Players come and go, no matter how much they are beloved. (I must say I think it’s a little funny how fans that criticized Hamels for being “soft” will be outraged if he is traded.) Feelings fade. Winning solves everything.
  • Better make a good trade, though. A repeat of the Lee trade to Seattle would be disastrous. DISASTROUS. They have to hit and hit big.
  • Are the Phillies definitely sellers? The Braves and Pirates lead the Wild Car race and are on pace for 90 wins. The Phillies would need to finish 51-21 (.708) to win 90 games. Impossible? No. Highly unlikely? Absolutely. At some point you have to look at things realistically. Sure, the Phillies might get hot, but even if they get hot and play .667 baseball the rest of the way they finish 87-75, which still would be short of the postseason. And then you’ll feel like a real sap if Hamels and others walk after the season.
  • Asking prices for Shane Victorino, Placido Polanco and others remain high as they should. Those prices could drop, but I don’t think the Phillies will give away those guys, either. That wouldn’t make sense for a few reasons: First, if a team only wants to give up a couple marginal prospects for Victorino, you might as well keep him, let him walk after the season and collect the draft picks. Second, they’re not compelled to trade them. They’re not in a salary dump situation. Third, the Phillies have nobody to play those positions the remainder of the season. I’m not sure the Phillies want to trade guys like Victorino and Polanco for nothing and have John Mayberry Jr. roaming center field and Ty Wigginton and Mike Fontenot manning third base.

That’s all for now.

Agree? Disagree?

What’s Up, Vic?

Shane Victorino got to the Phillies clubhouse later than normal yesterday morning at Citizens Bank Park.

He is almost always one of the first arrivals, quickly changing into his workout gear, ready to go, chirping at whomever walks in his direction. He’s all energy all the time, ready for a laugh or a wise crack. But not yesterday. Victorino seemed oddly quiet upon his arrival, after the clubhouse had already opened to media. (I could probably count on one hand the times I’ve been in the clubhouse before him.) He changed out of his t-shirt, but otherwise remained in street clothes as he slowly walked through the clubhouse, eventually packing his red Phillies travel bag for the team’s trip to Colorado and Los Angeles after the All-Star break. (He was the only one in the clubhouse doing so.)

Maybe an hour later, Charlie Manuel posted his lineup. Victorino was hitting seventh.

Maybe an hour after that, Manuel replaced Victorino in the lineup with Jason Pridie.

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The Four Horses

The Phillies have put April behind them. They finished 11-12 for their first losing month since 2009 and their first losing April since 2007.

But some potentially good signs for the Phillies:

  • While the Phillies rank 14th in the National League averaging 3.30 runs per game, they are averaging 4.62 runs per game since April 23. That is tied for sixth in the league in that stretch.
  • Jimmy Rollins and Placido Polanco have swung the bats a little better recently.

Small sample sizes there — the pitching the Phillies faced over the last week is nothing like they will face this weekend in Washington — but they are worth noting.

Getting Rollins, Polanco, Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence going is imperative. While there has been endless talk about Ryan Howard and Chase Utley and how much the Phillies miss them in the lineup (and how it’s such a major blow to play without them), it has been the four healthy All-Stars that have hurt this offense the most. David Hale explored this over the weekend, but I wanted to take a look at the final April numbers.

Here is the difference in OPS by position from April 2011, when the Phillies ranked fifth in the league averaging 4.62 runs per game and finished 18-8, and April 2012:

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