We continue to hear chatter that the Reds are interested in Phillies outfielder Juan Pierre, but Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com reports that his teammate Shane Victorino is actually the club’s “top target” as they continue their search for a leadoff hitter.
As of now, the Reds refuse to meet the Phillies’ asking price for the Hawaiian outfielder. For what it’s worth, Paul Daugherty the Cincinnati Enquirer reported last week that the Reds turned down a deal that would have sent right-handed reliever Logan Ondrusek to Philadelphia for Victorino. If word of the nixed offer is accurate, that doesn’t sound like a very high asking price.
Victorino, an impending free agent, is hitting .261/.324/.401 with nine home runs, 40 RBI, 24 stolen bases and a .724 OPS in 101 games played this season. The Dodgers and Pirates are among the other teams who have reportedly expressed interest.
Austin Romine is starting at catcher and batting ninth for the Yankees in today’s ALCS Game 4 versus the Astros.
Gary Sanchez is still in the lineup, but he’s the DH. That means Jacoby Ellsbury, Chase Headley and Matt Holliday are all on the bench.
Sanchez was lambasted for not holding on to the relay throw in Game 2, allowing Jose Altuve to score the winning run despite getting beat to the plate by the ball by several feet. That, combined with earlier passed balls, led some in the press to lobby for Romine to get the call behind the plate. Those calls tended to ignore the fact that Romine can’t hit a lick and that he is inferior to Sanchez when it comes to gunning down runners. Maybe a ball doesn’t skip by Romine that would have eluded Sanchez, but if I’m Jose Altuve or Alex Bregman or one of the speedier Astros, I’m running wild on Romine any time I get on base today.
The offensive knock is not quite as big a deal at the moment as it normally would be. Sanchez is in an 0-for-16 slump, but Romine isn’t replacing his bat he’s replacing either Ellsbury, Headley or Holliday. None of those guys are hitting at all, so I don’t suppose this is that big of a deal. Discuss amongst yourselves if you’d rather have a guy who is as cold as ice in the lineup who might hit versus a guy you can be pretty sure isn’t gonna hit regardless.
Either way, it’s a different look for the Yankees in Game 4.