Victorino giving Red Sox true grit
Former Phillie is newest Boston hero
Following the blockbuster trade with the Dodgers last August, GM Ben Cherington had extra money to spend in the offseason in order to rebuild the Red Sox.
One of the players the Red Sox signed was Shane Victorino, who inked a three-year. $39 million deal. A deal that was heavily criticized at the time, Victorino has earned his $13 million this year, especially after clobbering the go-ahead grand slam Saturday night that landed Boston in the World Series.
“It was a special moment,” Victorino said Saturday after hitting the grand slam. “It’s been a special year, we battled, and good moments like this, you cherish it.”
Victorino, once the heart and soul of Charlie Manuel’s Phillies, wasted no time fitting in. He was arguably the best defensive right fielder in baseball, going along with a .294 average and .351 on-base percentage.
“He added an elite defender in right field,” manager John Farrell said. “The numbers bear that out. Depending on what measurements you want to use, he’s been probably the best right fielder defensively in baseball this year. He’s added a grit to this team that we’ve seen repeatedly with the pain threshold in which he’s played with.”
Despite nagging hamstring and back injuries, Victorino didn’t miss much time. He played in 122 games and didn’t change his style, continuing to run into walls and slide hard into every base.
Coming off a sub-par 2012 (.255/.321/.383), he rebounded this season. He also provides experience having won a World Series with the Phils in 2008.