"One year is the goal," Victorino said after receiving a tour of the building. "The goal is to break ground in the next couple weeks."
The third-place Phillies' goal is to gain ground in the next couple of weeks. With their second straight loss to the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, they slipped to 51/2 games behind the white-hot Atlanta Braves.
A lineup makeover is expected Tuesday night when the Phillies open a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians at Citizens Bank Park. After weeks of talk about the impact Jimmy Rollins' absence has had on the lineup and in the clubhouse, the Phillies' all-star shortstop is expected to return from a right calf injury that has twice sent him to the disabled list.
During Rollins' second stint on the DL, the Phillies have gone 9-17, batted .229 as a team and averaged 3.2 runs per game. The team has also gone from first place with a 41/2-game lead to third place and a 51/2-game deficit.
"He has definitely been missed," Victorino said. "I talked about it a couple weeks ago. Jimmy has an impact on this team that I don't think a lot of people understand how much he has been missed and how much he brings to the table."
"Knock on wood," Victorino said, "that he stays healthy and stays injury-free."
Victorino is affected the most by Rollins' return because he will likely hand the leadoff spot back to the shortstop. Victorino has batted .261 with a .328 on-base percentage as the leadoff hitter this season. He also has provided 9 doubles, 7 triples, 10 home runs, and 35 RBIs from the top spot while stealing 13 bases in 14 attempts.
Those numbers are quite similar to what Rollins has given the Phillies as their leadoff hitter in the past. The Phillies' seven-hole hitters, however, have batted .250 with a .289 on-base percentage and just 24 RBIs. Victorino should help that lack of production.
"I don't care where I hit," Victorino said. "I can go back to where I drive in runs now. I'm not saying I couldn't do that in the leadoff spot, but Jimmy balances our lineup. Like Charlie [Manuel, the manager] always says, the balance in our lineup isn't there right now. There isn't anybody to run or do different things at the bottom of the order. I think with Jimmy back and moving me down is definitely going to balance the lineup."
The kids at the Nicetown Boys and Girls Club were thinking big when they got an opportunity to question Victorino. One said she wanted the new building to resemble Disney World. Another put in an order for a water slide.
Victorino said that might be a little too much to ask.
He is, however, hoping to give them something special.
"There was a [Boys] Club in Maui," he said. "I didn't go every day, but my buddies would go and I would go and we'd do the usual: playing football and pool and kickball. I felt like it gave me some place to go after school. That's why I chose this program. I wasn't born and raised here, but I understand some of these areas need something uplifting."
He added: "Hopefully, this can turn the community around and give these kids somewhere to go and give them some kind of structure."
Contact staff writer Bob Brookover at 215-854-2577 or firstname.lastname@example.org.