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Red Sox pregame notes: Shane Victorino slowed in return from DL; Sox hope for Tuesday return for Ellsbury

06.02.13 at 7:37 pm ET
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NEW YORK — Initially, when the Red Sox placed Shane Victorino on the DL, the team expressed near certainty that he’d require no more than the 15-day minimum to get to the active roster. But running tests at Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoon suggested otherwise.

Victorino has dealt at different intervals with lower back, hip and hamstring issues. The hamstring continues to linger as enough of an issue that it has limited his explosiveness as a runner. Victorino has been fine when swinging the bat, but until he can run at full speed, the Red Sox won’t be able to send him on a minor league rehab assignment, which means in turn that his activation date will be pushed back beyond June 5.

Victorino, said manager John Farrell, is “not running at 100 percent yet. The one thing that we’€™re being cautious with here is that based on experience of having him come right back and play successive games, and he’€™s had a couple of those setbacks prior to going on the disabled list, we want to be sure that there’€™s a gradual improvement, which he’€™s showing. To say that he’€™s going to go on a rehab assignment tomorrow or the next day, is probably a little more premature at this point. We’€™re just being a little bit more overly cautious given what’€™s transpired.’€

“There’€™s been no setbacks, there’€™s been no re-aggravation of it,” added Farrell. “It’€™s just a matter of when he tries to get to that explosiveness, he doesn’€™t have quite the confidence and we’€™re honestly telling him to more gradually get into it. What we don’€™t want to do is turn this into an extended period where if it takes a couple of more days than the June 5th activation date, we’€™re certainly willing to do whatever it takes to get by that. What we don’€™t want to do is have that date be a drop-dead date where all of a sudden he’€™s back and he re-aggravates things further.”

OTHER RED SOX NOTES

– Farrell said that Jacoby Ellsbury continues to make progress in his recovery from stiffness in his left groin, but that he remains unavailable on Sunday. The Sox are hopeful that he will be able to play by the time they play the Rangers on Tuesday at Fenway Park.

– Rain is in the forecast for Yankee Stadium, and so given that Clay Buchholz‘s last scheduled start was skipped, Farrell was asked whether he might proceed cautiously in the event of a rain delay. Farrell said that the AC joint/collarbone condition that held Buchholz out of his start is not an issue, to the point where the decision involving him would be no different than for any other pitcher.

– According to Elias, Clay Buchholz (7-0, 1.73) is the second Red Sox ever to go 7-0 or better with an ERA below 2.00 through his 1st 10 starts of a season, joining Sonny Siebert in 1971 (8-0, 1.62 ERA).

– The Red Sox have won four of their last games against right-handed starting pitchers and lead the AL this season at 22-13 (.629) when the opposing starter is a righty.

Daniel Bard continues to throw bullpen sessions in Double-A Portland, but he has yet to pitch in a game since permitting five walks on May 15. Asked if the team planned to keep him in Portland doing side work, Farrell said only, “For the time being, yes.”

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