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Shane Victorino could give up switch-hitting

Mar 8, 2014, 2:29 PM EDT

Shane Victorino Getty Getty Images

Shane Victorino gave up switch-hitting down the stretch last season and Red Sox manager John Farrell told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe today that the veteran outfielder is considering hitting exclusively from the right side of the plate this season.

Nothing is official yet, but this would be a positive development for the Red Sox, as Victorino has enjoyed more success from the right side during his career. It makes sense, as the 33-year-old is a natural right-handed hitter and took up switch-hitting in 2002. While it was a small sample, Victorino hit .300/.386/.510 with six home runs in 115 plate appearances batting righty against right-handed pitchers during the regular season last year.

“The right side has always been his strong side,” Farrell said. “I think last year his production against righthanded pitching probably has enabled him to be a little bit more open-minded to getting the majority of at-bats from that side of the plate.”

Farrell said the Red Sox support the idea.

“We want the most productive player,” he said. “If that’s what it lends to, we’d be perfectly fine with it if that’s what he opts to do.”

Now that Jacoby Ellsbury is with the Yankees, the Red Sox need to settle on a replacement out of the leadoff spot. Daniel Nava has been mentioned as a possibility, but it’s fair to say that Farrell will be more likely to go with Victorino if he’s hitting exclusively from the right side.

Victorino has yet to make his spring debut, as he’s taking things slowly after offseason thumb surgery among other factors, but Farrell hopes to have him in the lineup early next week.

  1. halladaysbiceps - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    I said Victorino should have given up hitting left-handed 6 years ago. He was always much, much better from the right side. Unfortunately, Mumbles Manuel never pushed it. Victorino finally has a manager that got through to him. I bet he hits .320 this year.

    • happytwinsfan - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:44 PM

      i’m wondering how long it’s been since he’s seen right handed pitching from the right side. if the last time was high school or something, i don’t know but i would think that even if he has the natural talent the transition would be really tough

      ??

      • halladaysbiceps - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:48 PM

        Probably. It shouldn’t be a difficult adjustment, though. It is easier for a RH batter to see RH pitching than a LH batter to see LH pitching. That much I know. Victorino will not have any problems with the adjustment and will be better for it.

      • kruegere - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:51 PM

        He hit only right-handed for awhile last year after he had an injury.

      • scatterbrian - Mar 8, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        “It makes sense, as the 33-year-old is a natural right-handed hitter and took up switch-hitting in 2002.”

        !!

      • carpi2 - Mar 10, 2014 at 11:39 PM

        Or he had 115 plate appearances against righties just last year…

    • prostock75 - Mar 8, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      Just to be clear with you witty Mumbles Manuel crack…should he have made him give up 6 years ago in 2008 when he hit .298 LH vs .282 RH? Or should he have in 2009 when he hit .283 with 8 HR vs 2 Hr RH. If you are going to be witty, at least be factual. Yes, Shane is more consistent RH, but he had some very good years hitting LH. Even last year, he hit .275 batting LH

    • gmfw7 - Mar 8, 2014 at 5:48 PM

      First of all shane is never going to hit .320 because he’s just not that consistent a hitter. Secondly, shane has had a few seasons during his career where he hit better from the left side, average and power wise. He’s never been a detriment when hitting left handed and had better power from the left side the majority of his phillies career. so to say you thought he should switch 6 years ago, especially considering that was during a two year span where he hit better from the left side, is asinine. Just to check, when shane hit the game tying HR against the dodgers in the 8th inning of game 4 of the 2008 nlcs were you complaining when he came to the plate left handed? Im just asking because that was 6 years ago, right?

  2. deathmonkey41 - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    He also plans to give up arguing whether it’s called sauce or gravy and just admit that when it’s red, it’s called sauce.

    • gmfw7 - Mar 8, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      Im guessing thats a joke based on his last name?? If so, you failed. Not everyone with a vowel at the end of their name is italian. Hes actually purtugese, hawaiin, japanese and chinese, so his opinion on the gravy vs sauce debate is irrelevant. For the record, it’s gravy. If the people who live in the country where it was made famous call it gravy, I think the rest of should just agree and move on. Dont you?

      • skeleteeth - Mar 9, 2014 at 9:45 AM

        The Little i-Talian begs to differ.

  3. kruegere - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:49 PM

    Now that he has that wall 20 ft away in LF, why not?

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 8, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      /\ /\ This

  4. slaugin - Mar 8, 2014 at 2:55 PM

    The only reason this worries me is the amount of times he gets plunked from the right side vs. righties with the way he crowds the plate. Will his body hold up?

    • rollinghighwayblues - Mar 8, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      Craig Biggio wants a word with you. Ive never seen someone so eager to take 93mph to the ribs/shoulder.

  5. Jack Marshall - Mar 8, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    “i’m wondering how long it’s been since he’s seen right handed pitching from the right side.”

    “High school” ??? Did you read the post? “Victorino hit .300/.386/.510 with six home runs in 115 plate appearances batting righty against right-handed pitchers during the regular season LAST YEAR”! Does that answer your question?

    This shouldn’t even be news. Victorino was obviously going to at least start the season as a right-only batter–why wouldn’t he, after the results last season, especially the power….and in Fenway? It’s a no-brainer.

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