NEW YORK — Don’t write off Shane Victorino just yet.
Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said before Saturday’s game at Yankee Stadium that he expects Victorino, who has been plagued by injuries all season, to rejoin the club at some point in 2014, although there’s no exact timetable for the outfielder’s return.
“We still believe he’s going to play and help us, but obviously there was a setback this week,” Cherington said. “It’s harder to say when that will be, but based on the diagnosis and the information we’ve gotten from our staff, he’s going to come back and play. It’s just, we don’t know when exactly. It’s a little bit harder to say than it would have been five or six days ago.”
Victorino landed on the disabled list with a hamstring injury for the second time this season on May 24. He worked his way back to the point of a minor league rehab assignment, but general soreness sidelined the 33-year-old and prevented him from rejoining the Red Sox during the team’s current 10-game road trip. Victorino has since been shut down from baseball activities because of a lower back issue that required the veteran outfielder to receive an epidural injection this past week.
“That’s got to play its course and get the area calmed down, then we’ll ramp up baseball activity again,” Cherington said. “It will be a few days at least until he’s back into baseball activity, and then we’ll go from there.”
The Red Sox called up hot-hitting prospect Mookie Betts before Saturday’s game to help fill Victorino’s void. Boston had been carrying 12 position players — as opposed to the usual 13 — and wanted an additional right-handed bat.
Victorino is hitting .242 with a home run and 10 RBIs in 21 games this season.