02/27/09 1:51 PM EST
Victorino replaces Sizemore in Classic
Speedy Phillies outfielder joins teammate Rollins on Team USA
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
He only has to walk to the visitors' clubhouse at Bright House Field, where Team USA will train next week in preparation for the World Baseball Classic. Victorino found out before Friday's game against the Cincinnati Reds at Ed Smith Stadium that he will replace Cleveland Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore, who pulled out of the World Baseball Classic because of soreness in his left groin.
"Of course I want to play," Victorino said. "I just love playing the game."
Victorino had only one concern about leaving the Phillies for the Classic: at-bats.
"I'm not like one of those other superstars on the team who are that good that they can take this time," Victorino said. "I still want to prepare myself for the season."
Fortunately for him, Team USA is carrying only three other outfielders (Brad Hawpe, Ryan Braun and Curtis Granderson). Team USA manager Davey Johnson told Victorino on Friday that at-bats should not be a problem.
Victorino played for Johnson in an Olympic regional qualifying tournament in 2005, when he won International League MVP honors for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Victorino will join Phillies teammate Jimmy Rollins on the Team USA roster.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.