Shane Victorino

Red Sox pregame notes: Shane Victorino could join team in Oakland Monday

May 06, 2015 - 1:48 pm

Out with a hamstring injury since April 22, right fielder Shane Victorino might almost be ready to return to the Red Sox lineup. The plan for Victorino is still to get his rehabbing done in Portland on Friday and Saturday, but what happens after that isn't so clear. If all goes well for Victorino, manager John Farrell said he could meet up with the team when it heads west for a left-coast road swing. "He's going to get Friday and Saturday (in Portland) at minimum and if everything goes accordingly, there's a chance he could, or the plan would be for him to join us in Oakland," Farrell said. "We're projecting two left-handed starters against us in those first two games, that might be a continuation of his progression in terms of number of innings on the field, number of at-bats but Friday and Saturday will tell us a lot." Victorino was hitting .143/.302/.171 in the 12 games he played with the Red Sox this season, recording five hits and two RBI in 35 at-bats. On Tuesday in Pawtucket, centerfielder Rusney Castillo collected his first hits since returning from injury on April 29. Castillo was 2-for-4 with an RBI, walk and strikeout against the Toledo Mud Hens, the Tigers' Triple-A affiliate. From Farrell's perspective, the outfielder is only getting better. "Looks like he's starting to get a little bit better timing, just through some at-bats," he said. "It's been start and stop for him this year with spring training and then, unfortunately, the dive at Pawtucket, but a couple of hits here recently after the first 10 at-bats or so just trying to get in the flow of things, but there's no restriction on games played or at-bats to be taken." If Castillo is to be in the mix in Boston, Farrell is looking for the same things he does with regards to all players looking to be called up: consistency and production. OTHER RED SOX NOTES - Blake Swihart, the third youngest player on the Sox' active roster, has impressed Farrell behind the plate so far. While Swihart performed well in spring training, the manager knows the same kind of planning doesn't go into those games as it does during the regular season. "I think he's handled himself well," Farrell said. "You observe the conversation with the starting pitcher or the staff in between innings and that's all been a good pace. You don't see the game speeding up on him or him being inundated with information. I think he's still been able to think freely behind the plate, read some swings, for the most part he's handled the ball in the dirt OK ... so far so good." Farrell also mentioned that Ryan Hanigan has been involved in helping Swihart out. - Hanley Ramirez's injury doesn't put the Red Sox in a particularly favorable position given the way he'd been hitting, but it does give Allen Craig the opportunity to see consistent time in the lineup. Craig, a righty, has fared well against pitchers of the same handedness, Farrell noted, adding that he's liked what he's seen recently from the outfielder. "There's been some quality at-bats the last couple nights from Allen and we're trying to take to take advantage of the opportunity with everyday play for him," he said.