BOSTON – Right fielder Shane Victorino is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Thursday with Triple-A Pawtucket and is expected to play three or four games with the PawSox before he is activated.
Victorino, who has been on the disabled list since May 21 because of a left hamstring strain and has also had back ailments recently, was eligible to be activated today.
“We’re hopeful he gets three or four games and get gradual progression -- five innings, DH, and RF in game three,” manager John Farrell said. “Spoke to Shane, and upon his return, [we want to] manage how many consecutive games he plays a little more religiously than previously.”
Farrell said Victorino could be on a rehab schedule of two games on, one off.
Center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is out of the starting lineup again tonight. It is the fifth consecutive game he has missed after tweaking his groin Thursday against the Phillies, when he stole a franchise-record five bases.
Farrell said the team remains optimistic about not having to put Ellsbury on the DL. But, as he gets closer to the halfway mark of a 15-day DL stint, that will have to be considered.
“He went out and did some more groundbase activities with running," Farrell said. "We’ve got to get him to the point of being 80 percent or better [running] intensity level before we can consider putting him back in the lineup.
“As we did with Shane, we look at that eighth day of 15 days as kind of a threshold to make a decisions roster-wise. Right now we’re still not thinking about putting him on the DL, but if this continues, obviously, we got to get to that point.”
Initially, the Sox hoped Ellsbury could return to the lineup during the three-game series at Yankee Stadium over the weekend.
“in the interest of him and his health, until he’s ready to go, we can’t push it,” Farrell said.
While Farrell mentioned 80 percent as a target for Ellsbury’s running, he couldn’t say at what level the center fielder is right now.
“He’s not at 80 percent,” Farrell said. “I can’t give you an exact number but he’s not quite there yet.”