Philadelphia Phillies' Shane Victorino hits an RBI single up the middle scoring Jayson Werth from second during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010 in San Diego. (AP Photo/Sean M. Haffey)
It took 57 games, but Charlie Manuel can finally pencil in his everyday lineup, as Shane Victorino has returned from the disabled list.
Courtesy of Todd Zolecki via Twitter, the Phillies have activated Shane Victorino from the disabled list, and have demoted John Mayberry Jr. to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
With Shane back in the fold, it means that, for the first time in 2011, the Phillies will be showing off their everyday lineup. It took a while for the stars to align, but when the Phillies take the field tonight, there will be no Wilson Valdez or Pete Orr or Dane Sardinha or Michael Martinez.
It’s been a long time coming, as injuries to Chase Utley, Domonic Brown, and Carlos Ruiz railroaded the team in the early goings, forcing them to give a great deal of playing time to guys who would ordinarily not crack a Major League lineup with any sort of consistency. Such events often put the Phils at a pretty considerable disadvantage when it came to matching up against the opposing team’s lineup.
Now that everyone is healthy, the Phillies (and the fans) no longer need to cringe at the sight of a lineup that has as many holes as it does effective bats. The lineup gets stronger, the bench gets a bit deeper, and a little bit of pressure is removed from the collective shoulders of the bats.
In the wake of this exciting news, we bid farewell (at least for now) to John Mayberry, Jr., who was the victim of the recent roster addition. It’s not a complete surprise that he was sent down, considering that the only other viable option to demote was Michael Martinez, whose Rule 5 status prevents him from being sent to the minors without first being offered back to the Washington Nationals.
Despite the fact that Martinez is hitting .184, has one extra-base hit, and provides very little with the bat, he can play multiple infield and outfield positions, which is something that the Phillies covet in a bench player. It’s not as if Mayberry’s offensive production (.231/.316/.365) made it a tough choice for the Phillies, but the fact that he can hit for power off the bench, as well as play a very good outfield, made it a very curious decision.
However, it’s small potatoes when considering that, over the long haul, the fate of a player such as Mayberry is relatively inconsequential if this lineup is able to maintain their health the rest of the way.