Phillies Notebook: Victorino playing as if he's staying

Shane Victorino rounds third to score against the Braves.
Shane Victorino rounds third to score against the Braves. (SCOTT CUNNINGHAM / GETTY IMAGES)
Posted: July 31, 2012

ATLANTA - Shane Victorino sat by his locker and tried to ignore reality. The centerfielder had just gone 3-for-4 with a home run in a 6-2 loss to the Braves, which dropped the Phillies to 12 games under .500 and all but sealed Ruben Amaro Jr.'s plan to unload some of his assets before Tuesday's nonwaiver trade deadline. All indications are that Victorino is one of the more likely candidates to be traded, a move that would bring to a close one of the more improbable Phillies careers in recent memory.

A Rule 5 pick in December 2004, Victorino has positioned himself for a multiyear contract when he hits the free-agent market this offseason. He also figures to help a contending team, with Pittsburgh and Cincinnati both rumored to be interested. While Victorino entered the All-Star break hitting just .245 with a .311 on-base percentage and .369 slugging percentage, he is 20-for-56 with four doubles, three triples and a home run since then.

"I'm not even thinking that way," Victorino said. "Ruben hasn't said anything to me personally. Everything's a rumor. Everything's hearsay. I've always said that. I can go and start any kind of rumor I want. Until my GM calls me and tells me something, I'm focused on winning, on going out there and helping this team win. I'm just going to keep plugging along, stay after it. We still have 60 games. That's my goal is to play 60 games here."

That was still an outside possibility heading into this three-game series against the Braves. The Phillies had won four straight games, all in dramatic fashion, and were hoping that a solid showing in Atlanta would be another small step back into the playoff race. Instead, they struggled to score and were swept.

Now, the Phillies have little to gain by holding onto Victorino. They are not likely to land a highly regarded prospect, but they could nab a reliever who gives them depth in the bullpen.

"I don't pay attention to any of that," Victorino said. "I just want to keep playing, and that's what I'm focused on. A lot is being said. I'm the person a lot of people are talking about. But whatever happens, happens. I'm wearing the 'P' on my hat and 'Phillies' across my chest, and that's what I'm focused on."


Contact David Murphy at dmurphy@phillynews.com.

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