Shane Victorino has no plans to waltz into manager John Farrell’s office and demand he play all 162 games this season for the Boston Red Sox. But the 34-year-old outfielder is preparing for a full slate.
“I feel good,” Victorino told CSNNE.com’s Sean McAdam before the Red Sox’s Grapefruit League game against the Atlanta Braves. “The last couple of days have been a big, big step in the right direction, good progress. I still have some time. From my standpoint, I’m passing every step.
“I feel like I’ll be ready to go,” Victorino added. “I plan on playing every day. I plan on being ready to go, whatever it may be. But who knows? We’ve got a lot of good guys playing well. That’s what it’s all about.”
The Red Sox have a crowded outfield, as Hanley Ramirez, Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig and Daniel Nava also are part of the major league discussion. (Ramirez and Betts have all but locked down starting gigs.) However, Red Sox manager John Farrell said earlier this spring Victorino would be Boston’s starting right fielder if healthy. And according to Victorino, he’s ready to go.
“We’ve only got, what nine days or so (remaining in spring training), so I’m sure the next week or so is going to be a test. But I feel I can do it,” Victorino told McAdam. “I kind of turned the corner in the last few days, from a physical standpoint. I’m starting to feel good. The last few days have meant big strides in terms of bouncing back and feeling good the next day.”
Victorino only played in 30 major league games last season. He battled general soreness earlier in camp, and other Red Sox outfielders, including Castillo, have looked impressive. But Victorino isn’t backing down.
The Flyin’ Hawaiian is ready. And he wants the world to know it.