Saturday, July 26, 2014
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Decision '08: What will Manuel do with his line-up tonight?

We break down the various line-up options Charlie Manuel is likely mulling with the return of Shane Victorino to the line-up.

Decision '08: What will Manuel do with his line-up tonight?

Will Shane Victorino trade his yukelele in for a glove tonight?Pressed a couple of days ago on how he would handle Shane Victorino's return to the line-up, Charlie Manuel said he would wait until the morning of the game to decide. The manager said it goes like this: he wakes up, he thinks, he goes to the ballpark, and he decides on a line-up.

He's probably still in the thinking process, so we'll try to get you inside of his head.

Here are some of the factors that must be considered when making this decision:

1) Geoff Jenkins has absolutely killed Greg Maddux over the course of his career. He's batting over .400 against the Padres righty, who starts tonight against the Phils at Citizens Bank Park. Manuel loves to play match-ups. I'd be shocked if Jenkins weren't in right tonight. However. . .

2) Manuel has already admitted he is concerned that Werth could cool off by sitting. The guy's played tremendously in place of Victorino. He's started 14 of the last 15 games, hit around .300, and had an OBP of over .400 until the past two days, when he's gone 1 for his last 9. Especially since he's had two bad days at the plate, is now the time you really want to put him on the bench? Might that have him looking over his shoulder the rest of the season?

3) Victorino's leadoff ability. If Victorino starts tonight on the bench, it likely means Werth will lead off. I wouldn't be surprised to see lefty Greg Dobbs in the line-up tonight at third, which means it would likely be Werth-Dobbs at the top of the order. But you can't replace Victorino's speed at the top of the order. Werth is fast, but not Victorino-fast.

4) Victorino's calf. Is it comepletely healthy? The outfielder's performance in his rehab stints makes me think it is. He went 2-for-4 two nights ago at Triple A Lehigh Valley.

5) Defense. Victorino's arm is better suited to right. Werth has made several nice throws over the past week, including one against the Pirates that nailed a runner at home. He also had a nice throw to Chris Coste that may or may not have gotten Jose Reyes awhile back in New York. But Victorino's speed is such a weapon in center. He covers so much ground. Manuel said a couple days ago he thinks Victorino is one of the best right fielders in the league. But he also said he still looks at him as a center fielder.

So what will it be?

Jayson Werth in center field and Victorino in right?

Victorino in center and Werth in right?

Victorino in center and Geoff Jenkins in right?

Or Werth in center, Jenkins in right, and Victorino on the bench?

I think if Werth isn't in the line-up, then Dobbs is definitely there at 3B so he can bat second. If Dobbs and Werth aren't in the line-up, I'm not sure who Manuel would bat No. 2.

^^

How about the prospective batting orders:

Option A

1. Shane Victorino

2. Jayson Werth

3. Chase Utley

4. Ryan Howard

5. Pat Burrell

6. Pedro Feliz

7. Eric Bruntlett

8. Carlos Ruiz

9. Hamels

Option B

1. Shane Victorino

2. Greg Dobbs

3. Chase Utley

4. Ryan Howard

5. Pat Burrell

6. Geoff Jenkins

7. Eric Bruntlett

8. Carlos Ruiz

9. Hamels

Option C

1. Jayson Werth

2. Greg Dobbs

3. Chase Utley

4. Ryan Howard

5. Pat Burrell

6. Geoff Jenkins

7. Eric Bruntlett

8. Carlos Ruiz

9. Hamels

Option D

1. Shane Victorino

2. Greg Dobbs

3. Chase Utley

4. Ryan Howard

5. Pat Burrell

6. Geoff Jenkins

7. Eric Bruntlett

8. Carlos Ruiz

9. Hamels

^^

Pitching match-ups for the Padres' series:

San Diego RHP Greg Maddux (2-1, 3.66 ERA) vs. LHP Cole Hamels (2-3, 2.75).

Tomorrow at 7:05 p.m.
San Diego RHP Chris Young (1-2, 3.77) vs. LHP Jamie Moyer (1-1, 4.05).

Thursday at 7:05 p.m.
San Diego LHP Randy Wolf (2-1, 3.68) vs. RHP Adam Eaton (0-0, 5.08).

David Murphy Daily News Staff Writer
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