FORT MYERS, Fla. — Shane Victorino didn’t want to talk about abandoning switch-hitting last season. It appears the Boston Red Sox outfielder doesn’t want to discuss the topic this spring, either.
Victorino added to the speculation that he might consider dropping switch-hitting in favor of batting strictly right-handed by batting right-handed against Tampa Bay Rays right-handers Jake Odorizzi and Steve Geltz in his first spring training game at JetBlue Park on Monday. But when the topic of switch-hitting was brought up to Victorino after he left Monday’s contest, the 33-year-old remained mum on what the future holds for him offensively.
“There’s no decision. If I had an answer, I would have told you guys. We’re all working through the process. There’s no answer,” Victorino said of if he’s still a switch-hitter. “I feel like you guys all are trying to get an answer. There’s no answer yet. If I had known, I would have answered it. If (manager) John (Farrell) had known, he would have answered it. I think you guys keep beating that same drum, and for me, that’s the part where I’m just like, ‘OK.’ It’s something that I don’t even know. I’m working through the process.”
Victorino spent the tail end of the 2013 season batting almost exclusively right-handed, largely because of various injury issues that plagued him throughout the year. He enjoyed a great deal of success with the new approach, hitting .301 with eight home runs and a .378 on-base percentage overall after Aug. 9, and finishing the year with a .300 average and an .896 OPS in 115 total plate appearances batting right-handed against right-handed pitchers.
Yet, despite the success and Farrell’s comments over the weekend that suggested Victorino might consider batting right-handed on a full-time basis, there’s nothing new to report regarding the drama. Victorino, who said Saturday he’s a switch-hitter for the time being, again preferred to keep the conversation moving Monday.
“You guys just keep asking that question, don’t you,” Victorino said.
Victorino struck out and got hit by a pitch in two plate appearances in Monday’s spring debut.