July 17, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino (8) lays down a bunt in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Why Were Not Crazy About the Shane Victorino to the Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors


The Pittsburgh Pirates are waiting for the Trade Deadline Everything Must Go! sign to go up in Philadelphia. Shane Victorino is the name, the asking price is to high for him to get in the game. Trib reporter Rob Biertempfel tweeted some news this morning on the situation.

We hit on this a few weeks back and that post is covered below.  It’s hard to imagine the impact Victorino would have in Pittsburgh because looking at his numbers and reduction in line drives this year, the production just isn’t there–except against left handed pitching.  The numbers against lefties should improve the Bucs, but we just can’t see the impact being enough to give up anything of real value to Philly for it.

We would have to believe the Pirates scouts and analysts see something different, but won’t overpay for it.  That’s a great sign as the deadline approaches.

Here is what we discovered a few weeks ago.

Shane Victorino is on the block. Reporters are saying the Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly interested in moving quickly… and making some players disappear from the City of Brotherly Filth. Hmhmmm, does this make you wonder why?

Could Victorino just need out? Was he pissed about his failure to get a contract done before the season? Could he be the type of player who can turn it on in the second half, and land that four or five year deal he covets?

Maybe. But why couldn’t he just do that in Philly? Sorry, but it reminds us of a Derrek Lee situation.

Are the poor numbers of this season simply a case of bad luck for the Flyin’ Hawaiian? Some will point at his .260 BABIP and scream that fact to the hills. But we look at his lowest line drive percentage ever, and hit the warning sirens.

If you look closer, 2011 was his previous low water mark for hitting line drives, although he had a monstrous season. We’re afraid a trend is coming. His on-base percentage is also down 40 points from where he finished in 2011.

Victorino is seeing fewer and fewer fastballs, so maybe jamming him into the Pittsburgh lineup would help force the pitch selection by the bad guys on the bump? We’re not so sure. Victorino’s slugging percentage has taken a serious dive. It’s down from .491 to .373 this year.

Perhaps Dan Fox and the gang sees something we don’t.

Perhaps Clint Hurdle sees Victorino swinging at the more pitches outside the zone than he has since 2006, and feels he can fix him.

Perhaps Neal Huntington knows the cost will be so damn low it will be worth a shot in the dark.

But when we look at it from a numbers standpoint, it’s hard to see the Pirates targeting Victorino. There are simply too many warning signs screaming to the contrary. Now, could it be a package deal with Cole Hamels in the mix? We’re trying to sniff around and find out. Something like that would make sense, we guess, but Victorino alone?

There’s a reason the Phils are ready to unload Victorino, a player who was looking to get paid before the season. There has to be a reason that deal never happened.

Fangraphs

Tags: Pittsburgh Pirates