Red Sox Should Go With Youth In The Outfield
Betts and Castillo over Victorino in the starting line-up.
There is no doubt that Shane Victorino was magical during the 2013 playoffs. The lasting imaging of Victorino hooking a high fly ball over the Monster for a grand slam against Detroit in the ALCS is something I will never forget.
However, the injury bug has bit Victorino hard as of late. Although he was healthy for the better part of 2013, but the outfielder missed an astounding 132 games in 2014. This limited the Flying Hawaiian to batting solely from the right side for the rest of the season. After believing that he was fully healthy and ready to go this Spring Training, a couple weeks ago he pulled himself out of playing in games and made the decision to once again bat only from the right side of the plate.
For anyone that follows me on Twitter, I went off on Victorino. I asked myself and my followers how someone, who missed the second half of last season and was off during the off-season, gets hurts running the bases too hard before a game in March.
The 34-year-old two-time World Series Champion is a fan favorite. There is no question about that. People love singing Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” as he approaches the plate and the fact that he is a great defensive outfielder. However, it is time for Shane Victorino to put the team before himself. When healthy, he is the everyday starting right fielder for most teams in the majors.
The only problem is that he is never healthy. And when he was last season, he just wasn’t very good. Mookie Betts has shown flashes of being a special kind of player and cannot start the season on the bench or in Triple-A. He is your starting center fielder to start the season.
Now comes the curious case of Rusney Castillo. Last year, although for a short amount of time, he showed flashes of being an all-star. Moreover, I’m not okay with having a $72 million man starting the season in Triple A.
You never let someone take your job, but Victorino is going to get his $13 million this year. Whether he is on the bench, hurt, or playing in right field everyday, he is going to get paid. In an ideal situation, the Red Sox could do a package deal of Victorino, Allen Craig and mid-level prospects for a pitcher or two, but I unfortunately do not see that happening.
Shane Victorino needs to put his pride aside and let the better player play for the betterment of the Boston Red Sox.