A “Victorino” in the Number Two Hole?
Shane Victorino seems to have been a little more built up than what his actual perfomance indicates. Batting him in the number two hole excited the Phillies…or so I heard via some expert within the past year or so. But what is he really? Coco Crisp? Melky Cabrera? A decent at best offensive threat who plays the most meaningful outfield position? Which has value, but that doesn’t always warrant him to be viewed as a positive offensive contributor. The Phillies may not have anyone else to fill that number two spot, so that is understandable, but that doesn’t mean that Victorino is a good number two hitter. Jayson Werth has batted in the two hole a total of fourteen games this season. And I assume that most of those have been against lefties, as he has hit pretty well against them throughout his career. But Werth isn’t really all that much worse against righties than Victorino is, even though Victorino is a switch hitter, giving him a well-earned advantage. So I would suggest the Phillies continue to bat Werth in the two hole against left handers, if, they have in fact been doing that already. But in a lineup where there are above average offensive contributors in the leadoff spot, and in the 3, 4, and 5 spots, Victorino seems a little out of place. They could move Utley up, but that would give him a few less opportunites to drive in runs, but in turn give him a few more at bats. So it probably wouldn’t matter all that much. But I just feel that what I have heard about Victorino supercedes what he actually is. He is a decent player, but is below average offensively. So I am not suggesting that he is not warranted a starting job, but I AM suggesting that the Phillies should try and have him bat lower in the order than he has been, if possible. Because I wouldn’t want Coco Crisp batting in the two-hole if I were a serious contender.
And nothing against the guy personally, as he may be a great guy. I have no idea. And this doesn’t mean that he is a bad player to start either, because he is not.