Getting Shane Victorino to accept being placed on the 15-day disabled list for the second time this season was difficult, Red Sox manager John Farrell said, but necessary.
Tightness in his left calf forced Victorino to leave Saturday night’s game in the third inning and he went on the DL Sunday.
Missing more time after playing eight games since returning May 11 from a right hamstring injury wasn’t what Victorino wanted. But Farrell has had to be cautious with putting him in the lineup, taking each game day by day.
“That’s just the competitor he is,” Farrell said. “I’m not saying he fought this, but at the same time he’s disappointed, he’s frustrated.”
When Farrell plugged Victorino back into the lineup earlier this month, he hit .450 (9 for 20) with a double, a home run, three walks, and three runs.
But injuries haven’t allowed Victorino to contribute consistently.
“When you look at the performance when he came back to us this year after all that he’s been through, you give him a tremendous amount of credit for the work that he’s put in,” Farrell said. “I think any athlete who’s taken out of competition because of injury, it’s taxing mentally. And the number of times that Vic has either been on the DL or has missed anywhere from three to five games, it wears on him.”
Also, because he’s been out so often, Farrell said it’s been harder for Victorino to be as vocal as he typically is in the clubhouse.
“I don’t know that there’s a stronger competitor in our clubhouse and a guy who means a lot to this team when he’s active because then he feels like he can speak his mind,” Farrell said. “It’s tough for a player to speak his mind when they’re not active and in the mix, and Vic is a vocal guy in our clubhouse.
“He’s a guy that impacts the game as we’ve seen this year when he’s on the field in a number of ways. He’ll be missed. That’s why you believe in a player as strongly as you do in Vic. Not from what he did just in 2013, but what he does every time he’s on the field and near 100 percent health.’’
The Sox selected Jeff Bianchi to fill the hole in the roster. The 28-year-old infielder was hitting .302 with 2 doubles, 4 RBIs, and 6 runs for Pawtucket, and his ability to play second base, shortstop, and third base will give the Sox flexibility, Farrell said.
“There’s a lot of dependability, particularly on the defensive side,” the manager said. “His addition allows us to be a little bit more versatile with Brock [Holt] to use in the outfield in a matchup that might be to our liking.”
Holt hurts forearm
When Angels pinch hitter Johnny Giavotella shot a screaming one-hopper toward Holt at third base in the eighth inning of the Sox’ 6-1 victory, Holt tried to get his body in front of it and paid the price.
The ball caught him on the left forearm and all Holt could do was stay on the ground in pain. Trainers came to tend to the injury and Holt tried throwing the ball to test his arm out, flexing his fingers to shake the pain off. He stayed in the game for the rest of the inning.
The next batter, Erick Aybar, hit another ground ball Holt’s way and he started an inning-ending double play. Regardless, Farrell decided to hit for him in the bottom of the inning.
“It hit him in a spot on the forearm where it irritated a nerve,” Farrell said. “It jarred the nerve, so he was starting to lose a little feeling in his hand, so we got him off his feet.”
Surgery for Varvaro
When the Red Sox originally designated righthanded reliever Anthony Varvaro for assignment April 29 after just nine appearances, it seemed sudden and curious.
When the Cubs claimed the 30-year-old reliever off waivers four days later then designated him again three days later, it seemed just as strange.
But the Cubs discovered that Varvaro had a “significant tear” in the flexor tendon in his right arm that would require surgery. With that, they sent Varvaro back to the Sox Sunday and he was placed on the 15-day DL. He’s scheduled to undergo surgery this week.
The Staten Island native told SILive.com, “My goal right now is to get the surgery and work at getting better. By November, I want to be on a mound and pitching at some level.”
With Justin Masterson (right shoulder tendinitis) available to come off the DL Thursday, Farrell said a rehab assignment will come soon. Masterson threw his first bullpen session Friday and Farrell said he intends to have Masterson throw three before sending him out for a rehab stint . . . Pablo Sandoval, who was hit in the left knee with a fastball Tuesday, pinch hit for Holt in the eighth and lined a first-pitch fastball to right field for an RBI single . . . The Angels placed righthanded reliever Mike Morin on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle on his left side after he hurt himself during Saturday night’s loss. The club recalled righthander Cam Bedrosian from Triple A Salt Lake. He started the eighth and was tagged with four hits and three runs. Bedrosian, 23, is the son of Methuen’s Steve Bedrosian, the 1987 Cy Young winner.