The decision to trade Shane Victorino to the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 31, 2012 made sense at the time. Even though center field has been a problem area for the Philadelphia Phillies this season, dealing the ‘Flyin’ Hawaiian’ and not re-signing him in the off-season were both good decisions.
It would have been great to see Victorino return to Citizens Bank Park when the Boston Red Sox play the second-half of their home-and-home series against the Phillies at the end of this month. However, his left hamstring strain recently caused him to be placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Based on the Phillies’ payroll space, the 3-year, $39 million deal he agreed to with the Red Sox was not something general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. could have, or should have, matched. The 32-year-old veteran outfielder was the right man for the job from 2005-2011. But, circumstances change for every team over time.
To compare Ben Revere’s lackluster performance to-date to Victorino’s body-of-work with the Phillies isn’t fair, or logically correct.
The Phillies didn’t prepare properly for the transition that they needed to make at their central outfield spot (and within the batting order) and they were unable to execute a better replacement game plan during the past off-season.
Victorino’s absence has been very pronounced this season. But, his departure simply revealed one section of a puzzle that’s now filled with multiple mismatched pieces.