Saturday, May 17, 2014
Victorino returns, wearing a knee brace
By Kyle Brasseur | Special to ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- After missing two games due to left knee soreness, Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino returns to the lineup Saturday night, batting second and playing right field.
Victorino on Friday underwent an MRI, which identified swelling in his joint on the left knee that will require him to wear a brace for a period of time. Victorino was sporting the brace Saturday afternoon during a session of early batting practice before Boston's game against the Detroit Tigers.
"Even last night, after the MRI, he came back in, he felt like he was, in his view, capable," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We wanted to give it another day of rest, and he is fitted for a brace. He'll be wearing that."
Considering that Victorino missed the team's first 22 games this season battling hamstring issues that surfaced on the last day of spring training, it's understandable that Farrell might have taken a cautious route in getting Victorino back into the lineup. However, Farrell said Saturday that Victorino's previous injuries aren't the reason for his limited production on the basepaths this season (one stolen base in one attempt).
"The one thing that we all recognize is that if he steals a bag there's probably more of a likelihood that the opposing pitcher is going to pitch around [designated hitter David Ortiz]," Farrell said. "As David has gotten into a hot streak, we don't even want to tempt the opposition to put him on with an intentional walk. There's no thought at this point of getting him out of the 2-hole just to let him run more, but it's somewhat in protection of keeping the base occupied rather than opening it up for the intentional walk possibility with David."
Ortiz has hit safely in 13 of the team's 14 games during May, posting a .393 batting average with six home runs and 11 RBIs over the course of the month.
Farrell also said that shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who was hit by a pitch above his left wrist in the seventh inning of Friday night's game, showed up to the park Saturday with no ill effects from the plunking. Bogaerts is in Saturday night's lineup, batting eighth.
"While he's a little bit tender on the spot where he did get hit by the pitch, strength-wise, range of motion, everything is fine," Farrell said.
Here's how the rest of the Red Sox lineup shakes out against Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello (6-1, 3.22 ERA):
1. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
2. Shane Victorino, RF
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Mike Napoli, 1B
5. Grady Sizemore, CF
6. Mike Carp, LF
7. A.J. Pierzynski, C
8. Xander Bogaerts, SS
9. Brock Holt, 3B
John Lackey, SP