Extending yesterday’s discussion on depth, we focus on center field and the possible need for added insurance for Shane Victorino.
Here’s an area that hasn’t received any attention. It was the same last off-season then – poof – So Taguchi signed for one-year, $1 million to become the fifth outfielder. Taguchi struggled to earn playing time, even losing out to Eric Bruntlett, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that no reports have surfaced in terms of the Phillies seeking an extra run-and-catch outfielder. Victorino had a very good season, appearing in 146 games, roughly 20 more than Charlie Manuel initially intended. Vic has developed into a multi-tool threat, hitting .293, which led the team, to go with great speed, Gold Glove-winning defense and spot power. But there’s still a lingering fear that a high-motor player like Vic is a prime candidate for a breakdown; he’s blown out his calf a couple times, and speed is still his greatest asset.
Worries like this haven’t surfaced all winter, perhaps deservedly so. Even Jayson Werth emerged as a major threat on the bases, stealing 20 bags last season and filling in servicably in center field.
Maybe there’s an angle. Maybe there isn’t. We turn to the peanut gallery for answers.
Caribbean Series ties run deep: Besides Ronny Paulino, yesterday’s game between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico featured many players with past ties to the Phillies. In addition to winning pitcher Alfredo Simon, a former farmhand and Rule 5er who pitched seven brilliant innings, Hector Mercado, Valerio de los Santos, Travis Minix and Felix Rodriguez also took the mound, representing guys who once earned paychecks from the Phils.