Former Dodgers draft pick and longtime nemesis Shane Victorino is the Dodgers’ new left fielder and leadoff hitter.
The Dodgers traded right-handed reliever Josh Lindblom, minor league right-hander Ethan Martin and a player to be named later or cash considerations to the Phillies for Victorino on Monday, hours in advance on baseball’s 1 p.m. non-waiver trade deadline.
“We’re excited to add an All-Star caliber player with postseason experience,” general manager Ned Colletti said in a statement. “He plays the game with passion, gives us a top of the order bat from both sides of the plate, can steal bases and is solid defensively in the outfield.”
The 31-year-old outfielder is hitting .346 against the Dodgers this season and .255 against the rest of the league, with nine homers, 40 RBIs and 24 stolen bases in 28 attempts. Victorino becomes a free agent at the end of the season.
The switch-hitter is hitting .316 against left-handed pitching this season and is swinging a hot bat of late, having hit safely in five consecutive games and nine of his last 10 at a .378 clip (14-for-37) since July 18.
The two-time All-Star (2009 and 2011) has a .277 career batting average with 88 home runs and 394 RBI in nine Major League seasons with the Padres (2003) and Phillies (2005-12). He led the NL in triples in 2009 and 2011, and has been successful on 81.9 percent of his stolen base attempts, with 186 steals in his career.
As a center fielder, Victorino is a three-time Gold Glove Award winner (2008-10) and ranks 10th in the Majors with 54 outfield assists since 2006. He’s started 725 games in his career in center and only but in left field, but with Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier entrenched in center and right, respectively, Victorino figures to slot into left field for the Dodgers.
The Phillies are in Washington, D.C., which will make it difficult for Victorino to be uniform for tonight’s game at 7:10 p.m. against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers have been rotating Juan Rivera and Bobby Abreu in left field this season. Those two are a combined .257 with seven home runs, 51 RBIs and six stolen bases.
Long the Phillies’ leadoff hitter, Victorino has batted throughout the lineup this season. As a leadoff hitter in 2012, he has a paltry .259 on-base percentage in 27 plate appearances, but his experience and speed give the Dodgers a more logical option at the top of the lineup with Dee Gordon on the disabled list.
Gordon is expected to return from thumb surgery in mid-August.
Victorino won a World Series ring as a member of the 2008 Phillies and has appeared in 46 career postseason games, batting .269 with six home runs and 30 RBI.
The Dodgers selected Victorino in the sixth round of the 1999 First-Year Player Draft before he was lost to San Diego (2002) and then Philadelphia (2004) in the Rule 5 Draft.
Lindblom, 25, has gone 2-2 with a 3.02 ERA in a team-leading 48 relief appearances this season. He made the major-league club out of spring training largely because starter Ted Lilly began the season on the disabled list, then ascended the depth chart to the set-up role behind Javy Guerra, then Kenley Jansen.
The Indiana native is in his second Major League season after being selected by the Dodgers in the second round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Purdue University.
Martin, 23, was the Dodgers’ first round selection (15th overall) in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and is 8-6 with a 3.58 ERA in 20 starts this season with Double-A Chattanooga.
Also Tuesday, the Dodgers designated LHP Michael Antonini for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.