After numerous setbacks, Shane Victorino starts another rehab assignment

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Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino started (or, more accurately, re-started) a minor-league rehab assignment yesterday at Single-A, going 0-for-2 with two strikeouts at the plate and playing five innings defensively in right field.

Victorino has been on the disabled list since mid-May with a strained hamstring, but back problems repeatedly derailed his recovery process and have now taken over as the primary issue for rehabbing. He could be cleared to rejoin the Red Sox’s lineup shortly after the All-Star break, but will have to stay setback free while playing a full nine innings in the minors first and that hasn’t happened yet.

Victorino was one of the Red Sox’s best all-around players last season, playing good defense with 21 steals and an OPS above .800, but this season at age 33 he hit just .242 with one homer and a .627 OPS in 21 games before going on the shelf.

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Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.

Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.

Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.

As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.