BOSTON - The Flyin' Hawaiian has been grounded - again.
Shane Victorino found himself in a very familiar spot on Friday, as he was placed on the disabled list with the same nagging back issue that has plagued him for much of this season.
Victorino has missed 79 of the 109 games this season for Boston, and that number will continue to grow - perhaps for quite some time.
"We're waiting the results of an MRI that he went through here today," manager John Farrell said before Friday's game. "But still some low-back tightness the other night. So pending the results of the MRI, it'll give us some definitive course of action."
Victorino was present in the Red Sox clubhouse when the media were allowed in. He was jamming out to some music at his locker in the corner of the clubhouse. But also in that clubhouse for the first time was Allen Craig, the Red Sox new left fielder. A couple hours later, Yoenis Cespedes, the Sox new right fielder, walked in.
With Jackie Bradley Jr. and Brock Holt available to play center field, the need for Victorino is suddenly not much of a need at all. Sure, you'd love to have a healthy Victorino in the game for you - but it doesn't appear like that's going to be the case this season. And with the way Farrell was talking about the team's new outfield, it didn't sound like he was hopeful Victorino would be back very soon.
While the Sox are still waiting to see if anything comes up in Victorino's MRI, it's pretty clear that now more than ever Victorino should fully take care of the issue - whether that means surgery or something else. Farrell wouldn't rule out anything.
"I think until we get the information back, it's probably too early to tell," Farrell said. "But the one thing that we do have right now is we do have some time on our side. So whatever is recommended for Vic to get back to full strength, and if we can use the remaining months in this calendar year to our advantage, we'll see if that makes sense."
It's unclear what the Red Sox plan is for Victorino if and when he does return - whether this season or next. Both Cespedes and Craig are younger, and speed aside probably have more to offer overall than Victorino does at age 34 next season.
John Farrell said prior to Friday's game that while he has left messages for both Jon Lester and John Lackey, he has not yet gotten a chance to speak to them since their trades were announced.
Well, Clay Buchholz got a hold of Lackey Thursday night, and said the former Sox pitcher was in good spirits after being traded from Boston, where he spent the last five years, to the St. Louis Cardinals.
"He knew what was going on," Buchholz said about Lackey. "He's been . . . signed to a different team once before. But he's happy to go out there and get to hit. I think that's what he was most happy about."
For the record, Lackey is a career .093 hitter (4-for-43) with 2 RBI, 2 doubles, and 14 strikeouts. Lackey has not had an at-bat this season yet.
Stephen Drew isn't about to have any regrets for the way he and his agent Scott Boras handled his free agency this season.
The Red Sox gave Drew the qualifying offer of $14.1 million, of which he did not take. That made him a free agent. The catch? Any team that signed him would lose their first-round draft pick. The Sox would then have received a compensatory selection at the end of the first round.
That's not much of an issue for a player like Jacoby Ellsbury, who obviously didn't take the Sox offer and had no issue finding another team (Yankees) that would break the bank for him. For Drew, it was an issue. No teams felt he was worth losing a first-round pick, and he sat around waiting until finally rejoining the Red Sox.
Speaking on Friday about that whole process, Drew wouldn't say it was the wrong decision. He does, however, feel that the qualifying offer situation should be something that gets looked at by the Players Association.
"If I had to do it again, I'd do it again," Drew said. "It's something that comes with the business. That rule that's there, it's unfortunate. It did affect me, it affected some other players. I think like I said before at the beginning of the season when I didn't sign I think we just have to take a look at that rule as a Players Association and kind of take a look back and see how much it did affect some players."