Shane Victorino is ready to go back to switch-hitting


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 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.

Marlins give Don Mattingly two-year extension

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The Marlins have announced that they have inked manager Don Mattingly to a two-year contract extensions. There’s a third year in the form of a mutual option.

Mattingly is finishing up the final year of the four-year contract he signed with the Marlins prior to the 2016 season. He’s 272-364 in that period and the club has lost 99 games already this season. The current bad run, however, obviously corresponds with a massive rebuild the team began undertaking following the 2017 season and the team’s change in ownership. Mattingly has not had much to work with over the past two seasons but he has likewise, largely, kept the team on as even a keel as one could hope under the circumstances. He has certainly impressed the Marlins’ brass enough to take the unusual step of keeping on a manager they inherited from a previous ownership and front office group.

In other news, the Marlins also announced a two-year contract extension for shortstop Miguel Rojas valued at $10.25 million. There’s a vesting option for a third year. The deal buys out Rojas’ final year of arbitration eligibility and one year of free agency, plus that option.

Rojas, 30, is hitting .285/.335/.383 (OPS+ 92) this year.