BOSTON – Shane Victorino was in the original lineup the Red Sox posted Friday afternoon for their series-opening game against the Blue Jays at Fenway Park. But Victorino was quickly scratched, as he continues to deal with soreness in his right thumb.
“He was originally in the lineup and then after going down and hitting in the cage today, there’s still a little bit of soreness in that thumb,” manager John Farrell said. “We’re trying to find the right construction of a little bit of a pad for that. Went through some adjustments with the pad, went back down, felt great, tried to talk his way back in the lineup. But felt like it was probably the right thing to keep him out for another day.
“This isn’t something that’s going to keep him out for a long period of time.”
Victorino has dealt with several other physical ailments over the season, including lower back and hamstring injuries. Farrell said those other ailments have become less of a concern as the season has gone on.
“I think managed to a certain extent, but they’ve become less and less even with every day play,” Farrell said. “So he’s moving past the low back and the hamstring issues that he battled through and then I think with the way the schedule winds up with a couple of off-days scheduled next week [on Monday and Thursday], he’ll be able to take advantage of that as well.
“He’s a tough player. He does have a high pain threshold…but it’s not uncommon, this time of year guys are going to be banged up a little.”
* Farrell has not yet announced the starter for Wednesday’s game at Colorado. But, it won’t be right-hander Ryan Dempster, who will now pitch exclusively out of the bullpen. Farrell said Wednesday’s starter could be one of the young pitchers the Sox have with them – Allen Webster, Rubby De La Rosa, Steven Wright. The game could also be used to get work for several pitchers who might need it at that point.
* Left-hander Felix Doubront could possibly move to the bullpen after his start on Sunday, Farrell said. But, Doubront's opportunities to pitch even from the pen after that will be limited. He will need some rest after his start, and depending upon the team’s requirements, his opportunities for relief work after that might be limited.
* Farrell said he would like to get one game at first base for David Ortiz in Colorado.
“But haven’t really approached it with him yet until we get through this weekend,” Farrell said.
* Farrell was happy with the team’s decision not to celebrate clinching a play-off spot after Thursday’s win over the Orioles.
“There’s great anticipation in locking down a win that might have a greater significance than others,” Farrell said. “I think the thing that was most telling to me is after last night’s game in which we secured a spot in the playoffs it was like every other game in here. There was no different excitement; there was no celebration of any kind. It was business as usual and I think that speaks to what this group envisions themselves doing with a chance to do something special. And last night was one step.”
Asked if he thought the team’s next win, which would secure the American League East, would have the same reaction, Farrell deadpanned: “No.”
But, the Sox won’t be celebrating as the Dodgers did, by jumping into a pool.
“No, we have a Swim-Ex [machine]. We don’t have a pool,” Farrell said. “No ‘Triple Lindys’ here tonight.”