|Shane Victorino remains unfazed by wave of new Red Sox outfielders||08.26.14 at 11:30 am ET|
TORONTO — The initial response was predictable.
Physically, not much would be expected to be altered since the right fielder last appeared near the Sox clubhouse. The doctors had told Victorino that it would be a month before twisting, bending and such would be allowed after the outfielder’s back surgery. It had only been a couple of weeks.
But there was indeed something that had changed in Victorino’s world.
For the second time in the last month, the Red Sox acquired an outfielder expected to start in 2015, signing Cuban center fielder Rusney Castillo. And as someone who fully expects to not have lost his starting job, that was of some interest to Victorino.
First there was the trades for Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig, leaving some to believe Victorino might be moving to center. But then came the Castillo commitment and now projected lineups are a bit more difficult to decipher.
“It’s not a bad problem to have. It gives you options. It makes guys expendable, if that’s something that you want to look at,” he said. “But again, I don’t know what the front office has in mind. I mean, obviously, you look at what’s starting to happen. With the signing of Castillo, I mean, obviously, with that contract, he’s going to play every day. Cespedes is going to play every day. Where are you going to factor in everybody else? Like I said, I still have every intention in my mind to be the right fielder every day. I have no desire to be anything else. But, as I said, we all understand that this is a business, who knows what can happen, but like I said, my mindset is to get prepared for 2015, to be the right fielder and play every day here, and we’ll go from there.”
Victorino will be heading into the final year of his three-year, $39 million deal in ’15. He was coming off a stellar ’13 campaign, not only hitting .294 with an .801 OPS, 15 homers and 21 stolen bases (in 24 attempts), but supplying a fair amount of postseason heroics.
|Shane Victorino to undergo lower back surgery||08.05.14 at 12:53 pm ET|
Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino‘s injury-riddled season came to what seemed like an almost inevitable end, as the 33-year-old will undergo what is surgery on his lower back on Tuesday, the team announced. The procedure will likely end Victorino’s season. Dr. Robert Watkins, whom Victorino visited on Monday for a second opinion after an MRI in Boston identified the potential need for surgery on Friday, will perform the operation.
“‘I’m definitely disappointed, news that I didn’t want to get. Obviously I think we need another opinion, see where we’re at and we’re going to go from there,’ Victorino said on Saturday. ‘Obviously [the MRI] showed some signs of some things going on with my back that obviously it’s important for us to get a second opinion. We’ll go and see what happens and go from there.”
Victorino — who hit .294/.351/.451 in 122 games last year, even as he twice landed on the DL with similar injuries — played just 30 games between three stints on the disabled list due to hamstring and lower back injuries. He hit .268 with a .303 OBP and .382 slugging mark.
|Red Sox place Shane Victorino on DL, recall Mookie Betts||08.01.14 at 4:57 pm ET|
Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino, who left Wednesday’s game with back discomfort, has been placed on the 15-day disabled list for the third time this year. Victorino had an MRI on Friday morning; the Red Sox were awaiting results to determine a proper course of treatment. But given the recurrent nature of the injury, manager John Farrell said that the team could use the available time going forward this year to ensure that Victorino emerges healthy. In just 30 games this year, the 33-year-old is hitting .268/.303/.382.
“The one thing we do have right now is we have some time on our side, so whatever is recommended for Vic to get back to full strength, if we use the remaining months in this calendar year to our advantage, we’ll see if that makes sense,” said Farrell.
With Yoenis Cespedes not yet in Boston and unavailable to be in the starting lineup on Friday, the Red Sox called up Mookie Betts from Triple-A Pawtucket. Betts will start in center field on Friday to give the Red Sox an additional right-handed bat against Yankees (and former Red Sox) left-hander Chris Capuano. Betts is hitting .321/.408/.496 for Triple-A Pawtucket, with his most recent feat being a walkoff homer on Thursday. He’s hitting .444/.512/.667 against lefties.
|With additions of Yoenis Cespedes, Allen Craig, what will Red Sox outfield look like?||07.31.14 at 10:20 pm ET|
With the addition of Yoenis Cespedes and Allen Craig, the Red Sox outfield is a crowded one.
In addition to the newly acquired players, the team still has Shane Victorino, Jackie Bradley Jr., Daniel Nava, Mike Carp and super-utility guy Brock Holt.
General manager Ben Cherington gave some clarity to how that will work when speaking Thursday night, as he said Cespedes will play right field, despite never playing there in the majors, and Craig will man left field.
“As far as the alignment goes, it looks like right now [Victorino] is going to miss some time,” Cherington said. “He is still fighting some back stuff. Since he is probably going miss some time, we will use that time to try and acclimate Cespedes to right field. Even though he hasn’t played there in the major leagues, he’s played there in the past in Cuba, but not in the major leagues and more likely Craig in left field. We are not writing anything in stone where that goes in the future, but we’d like to get both guys acclimated in that way and we will see where we are.”
Holt, who has played every position except pitcher and catcher this year, will continue to play the super-utility role, just not as much corner outfield.
“I think that’s something John [Farrell] will decide, I think you’ll see him used much the same way he has, moving him around, playing a lot,’ Cherington said. “Outfield, infield, that’s something John will figure out. He’s earned a lot of playing time. I expect he’ll continue to get it.”
With Victorino likely headed to the disabled list, Bradley Jr. should expect to see the same amount of playing time in center, with Holt filling in to give him an occasional off day. Nava, who has hit much better from the left side, .288 compared to .122 from the right side, could be used to give the right-handed hitting Craig or Cespedes a day off here and there. Carp, who returned July 8 from a broken foot, has only started in games at first base since. There is also a chance the club could look to make a waiver trade or even DFA him, as he requested a trade prior to the deadline.
No matter what happens, there will be plenty of excitement in the outfield as Cespedes and Bradley Jr. have two of the best arms in baseball as the two each have 12 outfield assists on the year, which leads both leagues.
|Shane Victorino ‘possibly’ headed to DL||at 9:01 pm ET|
Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino was pulled from Wednesday night’s game with the Blue Jays in the fifth inning. Following the game, manager John Farrell said it was as a precaution due to “a little bit of change in his gait.”
On Thursday it was learned that the right fielder could be going on the disabled list for the third time this season.
“It looks like right now [Victorino] is going to miss some time,” general manager Ben Cherington said in his press conference Thursday night. “He is still fighting some back stuff.”
Later he added: “[DL'ing Victorino] is a possibility,” when asked about creating roster spots for the players traded for Thursday. “We’re waiting on a little more information on Vic, but it’s possible it could be a DL.”
Cherington said Yoenis Cespedes is going to start his time with the Red Sox in right field and Victorino going on the disabled list likely would give Cespedes everyday time at the position.
Victorino has played in just 30 of a possible 108 games this season. He was playing well since his return from the disabled list on July 19, hitting .343 (11-for-32).
|Shane Victorino’s early exit ‘totally precautionary’||07.30.14 at 11:25 pm ET|
In the third inning, Victorino grounded out to Toronto shortstop Jose Reyes and appeared to ease up on his run to first base while attempting to beat out the throw. While Victorino returned to man right field in the top of the fourth, Daniel Nava took his spot in the No. 2 hole of the lineup, pinch-hitting in the bottom of the fifth.
The possibility of Victorino reaggravating the same hamstring that has sidelined him for 78 games this season was certainly a legitimate scenario, as the ailment has been a recurring issue for Victorino throughout the year.
“After his final at-bat, when he went out and played the next inning in right field, I could tell that there was a little bit of change in his gait,” Farrell said. “He wanted to continue on, but given what he’s come through, I took it out of his hands just to be extra cautious.”
Victorino has shown few signs of rust since his return from the disabled list on July 19, hitting at a .343 (11-for-32) clip with one home run and two RBIs.
|Red Sox lineup at Blue Jays: Shane Victorino sits, Brock Holt in right, Xander Bogaerts returns||07.21.14 at 3:28 pm ET|
The Red Sox will open their three-game set against the Blue Jays with four rookies in the lineup. Shane Victorino, after playing back-to-back games over the weekend (and four straight overall with the conclusion of his rehab assignment), will sit out, with Brock Holt heading to right field. He’ll flank Jackie Bradley Jr. in center, while Xander Bogaerts (after sitting on Sunday) will return to the lineup at third base, and Christian Vazquez will catch John Lackey.
For a look at how Lackey has fared against the Blue Jays and how Toronto starter Drew Hutchison has done against members of the Red Sox, click here. For comprehensive Red Sox coverage, visit weei.com/redsox.
RED SOX LINEUP
Brock Holt, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Napoli, 1B
Daniel Nava, LF
Stephen Drew, SS
Xander Bogaerts, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Christian Vazquez, C
John Lackey, RHP
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