Joe Kelly

Morning Fort: Joe Kelly not making scheduled start; Shane Victorino abandons switch-hitting

Rob Bradford
March 21, 2015 - 8:31 am

BRADENTON, Fla. -- A few days ago, Joe Kelly was sure he would be making his scheduled start Sunday after experiencing right biceps tightness in his last outing. Despite his confidence, he will have to wait a bit. Red Sox manager John Farrell said prior to his team's game against the Pirates at McKechnie Field that instead of starting Sunday, Kelly will throw a 50-pitch bullpen session with simulated starts and stops. "Even though he came out of his bullpen the other day with no issue, still at 70 percent, which might be a normal bullpen, we just want to get him up to normal game intensity, but not in a game setting," Farrell said. "Maybe it's a little precautionary, but it's something I feel like he walked off the mound in a middle of a start and we'll take that extended bullpen tomorrow with an eye on him making his normal start next Friday. ... Not a setback whatsoever, just an intermediary step towards getting to game speed." -- Other than Kelly, the news of the day was Farrell announcing Shane Victorino deciding to give up switch-hitting. "He'€™s going to hit from the right side exclusively, so I think with all the work he'€™s been doing in the cage swinging left-handed, some of the tightness that he has, felt as a result of the left-handed swing, that gets alleviated and I think that has a chance to free up his mind as well," Farrell said. "That'€™s the plan going forward with him, he'€™s going to hit right-handed." Victorino has been hitting from both sides throughout spring training, having gone 2-for-16 in Grapefruit League action. "You want the most productive at-bats, regardless of what side they come from," Farrell said. "And in Vic'€™s case, it was starting to take its toll, just the reps he was going through to try to get that swing productive. I think at the point of the work, it was starting to become counterproductive on the way he was feeling physically. That'€™s the rational behind him going right-handed. "It'€™s kind of the whole right side. The torque and the twist, the rotation I should say with the number of swings taken. He feels it on the left side of the body." -- David Ortiz was feeling better after missing time with general soreness and flu-like symptoms. The likelihood is that the designated hitter returns to action after the team's off-day Wednesday. "Better," Farrell said of Ortiz. "He's now getting over the flu he's dealing with. He did some work in the cage today. He'll also do some cardio work. Better than he has the last couple of days." -- It's interesting to note that Farrell threw batting practice again Saturday. The manager noted that he is participating in BP much more than in years past, having done it more than 15 times this year. Farrell offers a bit harder version of BP, moving the launching point back to the base of the mound for a different look.