Shane Victorino’s return from hamstring injury slowed due to bout of the flu

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Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino was forced to begin the season on the 15-day disabled list due to a right hamstring strain and it sounds like he won’t be ready when he’s first eligible on April 15.

Victorino hasn’t suffered a setback with his hamstring, but he hasn’t been able to do much recently due to a nasty bout of the flu. According to Alex Speier of WEEI.com, Red Sox manager John Farrell said Victorino did some cardio work and received treatment today. The hope is that they’ll have a better idea about a possible minor league rehab assignment by the end of the week.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. was originally ticketed for the minors before Victorino’s injury, but he could make it a tough choice for the Red Sox if he continues to swing a hot bat.

Joe Girardi steps down as manager of USA Baseball

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Baseball is an Olympic sport once again and USA Baseball begins the road to qualifying for the 2020 Games in just a couple of weeks. They’ll be doing it with a new manager, though, as current team USA manager Joe Girardi has stepped down from the role in order to concentrate on his quest to return to managing in the big leagues.

Girardi has interviewed for the Cubs job already and is candidate for the openings with the Mets and the Phillies. His stepping down from the Olympic job suggests that he thinks he stands a pretty good chance of getting one of the seven current openings around the game. Or, at the very least, that he wishes to show clubs with openings that he’s serious.

Girardi will be replaced by Scott Brosius, who was poised to be Girardi’s bench coach with Team USA.

The team begins training in Arizona on October 21. It begins playing qualifier games in early November in Mexico. Eventually, the 2020 Olympic Games will feature a six-nation field.