Shane Victorino reacts after what he thought was ball four was ruled a swing… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )
SHANE VICTORINO, 32 next week, outfielder
Final 2012 stats: .255 batting average, 11 homers, 55 RBI, 39 stolen bases and .321 and .383 on-base and slugging percentages.
Contract status: Free agent.
The good: Brought stability by becoming everyday left-fielder. Still a scrappy, high-energy player. His 15 stolen bases in just 53 games were still the second-highest for a Dodger. Covered a lot of ground and committed only one error.
The bad: Much like his ex-Phillies teammate Joe Blanton, it’s hardly that Victorino bombed, it’s just that he badly failed to provide the lift that was hoped for. And that in itself was highly disappointing. He suffered through career-low numbers in almost every category. As a Dodger (.245/.316/.351), he slipped even further.
What’s next: Hard to imagine Victorino returning, though supposedly the idea hasn’t been completely abandoned. Victorino wants to play every day, and with Carl Crawford scheduled to become the everyday left-fielder next season, there’s no starting place for him in the outfield.
At least eight teams have reportedly expressed real interest in Victorino, who is looking for at least a three-year deal. It’s a crazy game.
The take: Picking up Victorino at the July 31 trading deadline made sense at the time, even if it did cost them popular reliever Josh Lindblom and minor league pitcher Ethan Martin.
The Dodgers were doing the musical chairs bit in left, and were completely unsuccessfully, plus they needed a leadoff hitter. He seemed an excellent fit for a team that unexpectedly found itself in a pennant race.
But Victorino started just 25 games in the leadoff role, failing to provide the desired spark and was moved down the lineup. After continuing to disappoint batting second, he was moved down further.
When he first arrived, he talked about wanting to re-sign with the Dodgers but once the blockbuster Adrian Gonzalez trade brought in Crawford, that concept disappeared. Not to mention the impact of his own substandard batting. He’ll need to do his flyin’ somewhere else now.
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