Shane Victorino is ready to go back to switch-hitting

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Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino gave up hitting from the left side of the plate down the stretch in 2013 due to hamstring and thumb injuries, but he told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com today that he plans on switch-hitting again this season:

“Yeah, absolutely,” the outfielder said when asked if he was looking forward to returning to life of a switch-hitter. “Everything feels great. It’€™s something I’€™ve been successful at and that I would like to go back to. The body feels good, and we’€™ll go from there. It’€™s a good thing to have in your back pocket, being able to switch-hit.

“I came into camp, I spoke to them about it and I told them I would like to try it again and they were all for it.”

Victorino, who is naturally right-handed, owns an .865 OPS as a right-handed batter in his career as opposed to a .724 OPS from the left side. The gap in production became even more pronounced before he initially decided to give up switch-hitting. Still, it’s something he would like to try again and he apparently has the team’s support.

Victorino, 34, was limited to just 30 games last season due to hamstring and back injuries. While Mookie Betts is knocking on the door for an opportunity, Red Sox manager John Farrell recently said that Victorino will be his starting right fielder this season if he’s healthy.

Phillies COVID testing reports no new positives

Phillies COVID testing
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Phillies COVID testing results revealed no new positives for the fourth straight day, the team announced this morning. As a result, they will resume their schedule tonight against the Yankees.

It’ll be the first game for the Phillies since last Sunday’s game against the Marlins. The Miami outbreak prompted the Phillies’ season to be shut down, but the lack of positive tests beyond team staff that had more direct contact with the visiting Marlins is an encouraging sign. The Phillies COVID testing strongly suggests that cross-team infection from on-the-field activity is not a significant problem. This could bode well for, say, the Brewers, who have been idled a few days due to the outbreak emerging on their would-be opponents this past weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals.

All of this, of course, puts the Phillies well behind their usual schedule. They’ve played just three games and have had minimal baseball activity in the past eight days. Whether that shows up in the performances of Jake Arrieta and Aaron Nola, tonight and tomorrow night’s starters, respectively, will be worth watching.

All in all, though, the Phillies COVID testing results are good news. And folks, we could use some good news right now.

UPDATE: The Marlins are negative too: