red sox notebook

Shane Victorino questionable for Opening Day

BALTIMORE — Right fielder Shane Victorino is questionable for Opening Day Monday, leaving Red Sox manager John Farrell wondering what his lineup will look like.

Victorino strained his right hamstring running the bases in Saturday’s final spring training game. He accompanied the team to Baltimore, but returned to Boston Sunday morning for an MRI.

Team doctors are scheduled to give Victorino a full examination Monday morning at Massachusetts General Hospital. Farrell said Victorino could return in time for the 3:05 p.m. game Monday.


“There’s no roster decision. There’s no update to give you at this point,” Farrell said.

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On Saturday, Farrell said that Jackie Bradley Jr. was on call in case Victorino is placed on the disabled list. The Red Sox, as required by major league rules, set their roster Sunday afternoon and Victorino was on it.

Victorino said Saturday that he would be in the lineup. But given his recent injury history and the fact he played only 10 games in spring training, the Red Sox could be cautious. At the very least, it seems unlikely Victorino will play Monday. That could shift Daniel Nava to right field and give Jonny Gomes the start in left field.

“Shane’s situation is going to be one of the challenges thrown our way,’’ Farrell said. “We don’t know what’s going to come up against us. As long as we remain resilient and face those challenges as we did a year ago — as a team — I feel like we’ll be in a very good place as we go through this journey in 2014.”

Because Victorino played in a major league game Saturday, a DL stint could be backdated only to Sunday. At a minimum, he would miss 13 games.


Victorino played in only 10 spring training games because of injuries and spent much of last season dealing with back, leg and groin injuries.

“I don’t look at it [as] troubling,” Farrell said. “You look at it as a situation that has to be managed. If he’s not available to us, we’ll certainly miss him.”

Lester focused

The pause in contract talks between the Red Sox and Opening Day starter Jon Lester isn’t a big concern for the lefthander. But he admitted it’s on his mind to some degree.

“It’s kind of like having the elephant in the room. We all know the circumstances this year,” Lester said. “I would like to think I’m pretty good at dealing with outside things.”

Lester is 15-3 with a 2.94 earned run average against the Orioles. He was 14-0 with a 2.26 ERA in 18 starts from 2006-11 and is 1-3, 4.50 in seven starts since.


“One through nine, obviously very powerful,” Lester said of the Orioles. “A lot like the rest of the [American League] East. I think one of the biggest things with this club is you try and keep them in the ballpark the best you can.”

The Red Sox are 13-24 against the Orioles the last two seasons, 32-41 the last four.

“We’ve just played them tougher the last couple of years,” Orioles center fielder Adam Jones said. “[Lester] is who he is. He’s a damn good pitcher. You can’t disrespect him. But we have a good lineup and we’re going to go after him.”

The Sizemore plan

Farrell said the Red Sox have mapped out six weeks of playing time for Grady Sizemore. Monday would be his first major league game since Sept. 22, 2011.

“That doesn’t say which specific days they are. We look at it a week at a time with increasing workloads,” the manager said. “There’s going to be a number of factors that come into consideration.”

Sizemore hit .310 in 13 spring games to not only claim a spot on the roster, but win the starting job in center field after missing the two previous season with injuries. The former Indians All-Star signed with the Red Sox in January.

“We still don’t know what to expect throughout the course of this year,” Farrell said. “But he earned the center field job.”

Said Lester: “I’m excited for him. Obviously it’s been a long journey for him. Obviously excited to have him on our side.”

Ortiz ready

David Ortiz played only one of the final five games of spring training after straining his right calf on March 24. But he will be in the lineup.

“I’m good to go,” the designated hitter said. “Feeling better. I’ll be fine.”

Ortiz was 2 for 37 with 13 strikeouts in spring training.

Markakis banged up

Baltimore’s right fielder is dealing with an injury, too. Nick Markakis has a stiff neck and was scratched from an exhibition game in Norfolk, Va., Saturday. Manager Buck Showalter suggested that Markakis would benefit from not playing Monday because the teams are off Tuesday.

Pomp, circumstance

Admiral James A. Whitfield Jr., the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will throw out the first pitch. Richard Troxell, an American tenor, will sing the national anthem before the game and “God Bless America” in the seventh inning.

The Orioles will wear a uniform patch in honor of author Tom Clancy, a team investor and Baltimore native who passed away six months ago.

Rainy day

Sunday was a workout day for the Red Sox at Camden Yards. But steady rain and cold kept the players off the field. It later snowed in Baltimore, but the weather is expected to clear for the game . . . The Red Sox have six changes from the roster that won the World Series. Gone are Quintin Berry, Ryan Dempster, Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Franklin Morales, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. New to the team are Burke Badenhop, Chris Capuano, Jonathan Herrera, Edward Mujica, A.J. Pierzynski, and Sizemore . . . The Orioles added righthander Evan Meek and outfielder Delmon Young to their 40-man roster Sunday. Lefthander Mike Belfiore, the former Boston College pitcher, was designated for assignment.

Peter Abraham can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.