John Farrell

Red Sox notes: John Farrell won't pinch-hit for David Ortiz; Shane Victorino schedule still not set

Rob Bradford
June 11, 2015 - 1:38 pm

BALTIMORE -- While John Farrell did sit David Ortiz against Baltimore left-hander Wei-Yen Chen Wednesday, he's not ready to make such a substitution with the designated hitter already in the game. Farrell explained prior to his team's series finale against the Orioles Thursday that he had no intention on pinch-hitting for Ortiz despite his struggles against left-handers (8-for-70, .114). "As far as pinch-hitting for him? I've not talked to him about that at all," Farrell said. "At this point I wouldn't look to do that." The last time Ortiz was pinch-hit for in a significant situation was April 20, 2010, when Mike Lowell replaced him for a seventh inning at-bat against Darren Oliver. (For Lowell's recollection of the at-bat, click here.) Ortiz was in the starting lineup Thursday, hitting fourth against Baltimore righty Chris Tillman. - There still hasn't been any timetable set for Shane Victorino executing a minor league rehab assignment. The outfielder hasn't played since injuring his calf May 23. "There's been no advancement in his running progression, so to give you any sense of if we're getting closer to a rehab assignment, we're not there yet," the manager said. "We'll get a better read as we get through the weekend." When asked if there had been any sort of setback, Farrell responded, "I wouldn't say he's hit a wall. It's been an involved program and stages of programs, and the intensity continues to ramp up. There's a lot of change-of-direction work being accomplished. How he comes out of the more strenuous days, the medical staff isn't ready to say, let's go to the next step, which would be a game." - Brock Holt has evidently earned his way into the starting lineup, even if it's at the expense of Rusney Castillo's playing time. With Holt hitting .324 against lefties, while fitting nicely into the lineup's No. 2 spot, Farrell said it will be a priority to keep the lefty hitter in the starting lineup. "Right now we're looking to put the best alignment on the field, and what Brock is doing in the two-hole, he's got the priority right now," the manager said. When asked about Castillo, who has seemingly struggled to pitchers' adjustments to him (hitting 67 percent ground balls), Farrell said the 27-year-old outfielder is a work in progress. "There's good plate coverage away. He's probably seeing some righthanded sinkerballers a little bit more competent at this level than anytime in the past," Farrell said. "He's been pitched there at times. When he stays within the strike zone -- at times he'll expand, but when he stays in the strike zone, he's got the ability to put a charge into the ball. Right now, he's offered at some pitches on the fringe at times." - Christian Vazquez made it a point to catch up with Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters before Thursday's game, with the Orioles' backstop offering advice in terms of coming back from Tommy John surgery. (To read Wieters' advice to Vazquez in regards to how a catcher should approach rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, click here.)