Bad news for Red Sox prospect Mookie Betts: manager John Farrell considers Shane Victorino the current favorite for the job in right field. Farrell said, “If Shane Victorino is fully capable and fully healthy, he’s our right fielder,” per Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald.
Victorino, 34, logged just 30 games last season due to recurring hamstring problems and a bulging disk in his back. He had been coming off of a very productive 2013 season with the Red Sox, swatting 15 home runs and swiping 21 bases.
The Red Sox have Hanley Ramirez in left field and Rusney Castillo in center. With Farrell’s vote of confidence for Victorino, that likely leaves Betts headed to Triple-A to start the season barring injury or a great spring showing on the youngster’s part. However, neither Victorino nor Ramirez are strong bets to stay healthy over the course of 162 games, so there’s a decent chance Betts finds playing time at some point anyway.
Red Sox manager John Farrell could be getting a new contract this spring. Sean McAdam of CSN New England has the report …
Farrell is entering the final guaranteed year of the three-year deal he signed in November of 2012, and, according to an industry source, preliminary talks have already begun.
That contract includes a team option for 2016, so Farrell isn’t truly at the end of his deal. But the club evidently doesn’t want Farrell entering the 2015 season being viewed as a sort of lame-duck manager.
Boston stumbled to a last-place finish in the American League East last season with a record of 71-91, but Farrell guided the club to a World Series title in 2013 — his first year at the helm — and there’s hope for a return to prominence this season following an active winter of trades and free agent signings. Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Rick Porcello, and Wade Miley are among the new faces in Red Sox camp this spring.
McAdam heard from an industry source that the Red Sox front office wants to “add length and security” to Farrell’s current contract, so this will likely go beyond merely exercising the skipper’s option for 2016.
Injuries limited Shane Victorino to just 30 games last season and he’s currently rehabbing from back surgery. The Red Sox have a bunch of options for their outfield with the newly-signed Hanley Ramirez to go along with Rusney Castillo and Mookie Betts and even Allen Craig and Daniel Nava, but Victorino is trying to make sure that he’s not a forgotten man going into 2015. Like, really trying…
Just a little bit weird, but I love it just the same. I really hope he’s writing messages along with the pictures: “Sorry for being ABSent from the lineup so much last season. I will ABSolutely be ready for spring training.”