Victorino eager to get back, but won't rush
Over the flu, outfielder to start stepping up rehab on right hamstring
BOSTON -- Even though Shane Victorino is still idled with a right hamstring strain, he was pleased to simply be able to put his uniform on for pregame activities Wednesday and start ramping up his rehab program.
This was not possible last week, when Victorino had such a bad case of the flu that he was essentially put in quarantine so there would be no risk of spreading the sickness to his teammates.
"I feel good. I'm just glad to be out of bed," Victorino said. "It was a tough week. It was frustrating to be away from the guys and not being around. I think it's a matter of not getting anybody else sick. I think that was very important from the doctors' standpoint, to stand away from the team.
"But I've definitely watched them, watched everybody, watched every single game, every inning, every out. As I said, it's nice to be back today without wearing a mask around the clubhouse and not spreading what I had. In that regard it feels good to be back out here."
The right fielder does feel improvement in his leg, though the next few days will give him a better idea of where he is at.
"I haven't done enough to really tell myself [where I'm at]," Victorino said. "I did some jogging, that felt fine. But then again it is jogging and the game is my legs. It's important for me to understand that and not want to rush to get it back. I want to get it back as quick as I can. I know I'm able to come off soon, but having the flu the set me back a few days. We're going to set out to get back on time if everything goes accordingly, hopefully that works out the way we wanted to."
The first game Victorino would be eligible to play in would be April 15 in Chicago, but that is probably unrealistic.
Victorino thinks he would only need a minimum amount of games in a Minor League rehab assignment, perhaps two to three days so he can progress from five to seven to nine innings.
After taking a conservative approach in Spring Training so he could strengthen the areas that nagged him last year, it was disheartening for Victorino to suffer what he described as a freak injury in his final game in Fort Myers.
"I mean, honestly, we did everything we could possibly do," Victorino said. "That was one of those freak things. We had nothing, no complaints from that side with the hamstring. I've hurt it in the past, but it never bothered me, nothing was going on there. It just randomly came out of nowhere. That was, as I said, the part that was frustrating.
"But we're going to continue to work every day, strengthening the surrounding areas, my back, my core, my legs, and hopefully these things, knock on wood, we got it all out of the way and I can go into the season and when I get back out there and ride out into the sunset and be healthy the rest of the season."
Farrell keeping options open in outfield
BOSTON -- With Jackie Bradley Jr. suddenly coming into his own on offense while playing his typically stellar defense, the Red Sox will have a tough decision to make in the outfield when Shane Victorino comes off the disabled list.
How about an outfield of Grady Sizemore in left, Bradley in center and Victorino in right?
"Yeah, all those alignments are thought of," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "How we get to that point remains to be seen with roster adjustments. I think the one thing that continues to bear out is the outfield defense and placing a premium on that."
If Bradley, Victorino and Sizemore were all on the roster at the same time, the Red Sox would probably have to make a decision between Daniel Nava and Mike Carp. If not, Bradley would likely have to be optioned to Pawtucket again. Nava still has Minor League options as well. Carp does not.
But the club isn't close to making any decision on that, and there's no need to until Victorino returns to action.
It's unclear just yet when Victorino will come off the disabled list.
For Wednesday's game against the Rangers, Sizemore got the day game off after the night game. Jonny Gomes played left, with Bradley in center and Nava in right.
Breslow gives 'pen third lefty; Workman to Triple-A
BOSTON -- An invaluable component of Boston's 2013 bullpen returned Wednesday, as lefty Craig Breslow was activated from the disabled list.
Breslow, who had a left shoulder strain, joins Andrew Miller and Chris Capuano to give manager John Farrell three southpaw relievers to choose from in the bullpen.
"Initially we'll probably get him in some lower-leverage situations just as he gets in the flow of things," said Farrell. "But as Craig has shown for some time, there's a dependability of strike throwing. With the upcoming series and the number of left-handers in given lineups, that's going to be a plus for us to have that third left-hander. But we've also sent out a very good pitcher in Brandon Workman and he'll go into the rotation down in Pawtucket."
Workman, who became dependable enough for the Red Sox that Farrell used him in the clinching games of last year's American League Championship Series and World Series, could provide starting depth for Boston at some point this season.
In fact, that is likely how the club will deploy him when he gets his next promotion from the Minors. The club would prefer to avoid continuing to change his role.
"Well that's what we outlined in Spring Training," said Farrell. "Now as we go back to starting, that's where we have to be careful as far as changing the role again. If we could script it, he would remain as a starter and if the need were to arise, he'd be back here pitching for us in that role."