BOSTON -- Shane Victorino is out of the starting lineup again for the Red Sox homestand finale Sunday afternoon against the Astros. Low back soreness has kept him sidelined for five of the last seven games and four straight, including today.
“He continues to improve, [but] not game ready,” manager John Farrell said. “[Monday] being an off-day we’re going to take advantage of that as well. So we’re hopeful that the upcoming series [in Toronto] he will be available to us. He’s still day to day at this point.”
“We’ve got to do everything at this point to make sure those symptoms subside. The Astro-Turf [at Rogers Centre] throws another factor into it when we go into Toronto. So, most importantly, whether it’s game one or game three up there it’s going to be dependent on he being symptom free.”
The Sox have essentially been playing a player short with Victorino unavailable, but not on the disabled list, which remains a possibility. The Sox could put Victorino on the DL, retroactive to Thursday, the day after the last game he played.
“We feel like, and just in talking to [general manager] Ben [Cherington] when you start to get into half of what the 15-day DL period would be, you got to really look at making a decision on the roster and being able to retroactive the date. So we’re still a few days away from that.”
Since Victorino left Wednesday’s game in the seventh inning, Daniel Nava has been in right field. He also played there in four other games this season, including three at home. Before this season, he had appeared in just two games in Fenway’s expansive right field.
“It speaks a lot about what [Nava] done personally and the work he’s put in,” Farrell said. “Honestly I don’t’ even think twice putting his name in the lineup. He’s a very good player.
“A very reliable guy, and even in Fenway Park in this left field which can be tricky. But the fact is we want to guard against an unknown, he played a couple of games in right field last year. We wanted to get him some exposure in spring training, and here we are, because of Shane's situation that he’s our everyday right fielder. And I don’t know that he’s been tested as much as Shane has with ranging into the gap or the line on some balls but we have complete confidence in him in that spot.”