Coming off strong seasons in 2008 and 2009, Shane Victorino has had a down year in 2010. While his homerun and RBI totals are up, his average in significantly down from what it has been in the past. In 2008 and 2009, Victorino hit in the .290s. This season, Victorino was barely hitting .250 before going on the disabled list.
Victorino’s approach at the plate had been much different this season. He seemed to be falling in love with hitting homeruns, and was constantly swinging for the fences. While his power numbers did increase, it has come at the expense of what made Victorino such an asset for the lineup.
Victorino is supposed to be a guy who consistently gets on base, and uses his speed and baserunning ability to provide a distraction for opposing pitchers. If he’s not getting on base consistently his value diminishes considerably.
Thankfully, since Victorino has returned from the disabled list, he looks more like the player he was in previous years. He has shortened his swing, and isn’t looking to crush the ball in every at bat. Victorino has 9 hits in 6 starts, scored 5 runs, and stolen 2 bases.
What Victorino has done offensively in his first week back with the team is what helped him become an All-Star last season. He hasn’t always been a smart player, but he needs to understand what his role on this team is.
I don’t know if we’re ever going to figure out where his mind is at times, but we need realizing that he’s not here to hit home runs. He’s here to play great centerfield, get on base and run the bases effectively.
It looks like a couple of weeks out of action gave him time to rediscover what his role is or Charlie Manuel sat down with him and “read him the riot act”. He probably remined him of why he’s had some success.