Shane Victorino hit exclusively from the right side (his natural side) down the stretch in 2013 and for the limited time he was on the field last year, but he decided to go back to switch-hitting this spring. However, he has already had a change of heart about it.
Anything the Red Sox can do to keep Victorino on the field is a good idea, but this is probably the best way to go regardless of his health. The 34-year-old has underproduced from the left side against right-handed pitching for quite some time now.
If healthy, Victorino projects to be the starting right fielder for the Red Sox this season. Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo are currently competing for the starting center field job. It’s hard to count on Victorino holding up for a full season at this point, so chances are whoever loses that battle will still end up getting plenty of playing time.
PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.
The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.
Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.
The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.
Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.
Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.
In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.
Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.
With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.