Shane Victorino Open To Hitting Leadoff, Playing Center Field

Shane VictorinoThe Boston Red Sox have just one hole to fill entering the 2014 season, but it is a sizable one.

Jacoby Ellsbury left for more pinstriped pastures after the Red Sox’s World Series championship, leaving a void both in center field and at the top of the batting order.

Right fielder Shane Victorino told reporters Tuesday that he is willing to handle both of those responsibilities if need be.

“I”m excited wherever,” Victorino said, via “I’ll play center if I have to. Worst-case scenario we go out there with what we have and have fun doing it.”

With center fielders Jackie Bradley Jr. and the newly acquired Grady Sizemore also on the roster, Victorino likely will remain at his post in right. Victorino hitting leadoff is certainly a possibility, though, as he and Daniel Nava are rumored to be manager John Farrell’s two top choices to take over Ellsbury’s former role.

“I never say where I want to be,” Victorino said. “I don’t care where I hit. I said it all along. Whatever opportunity presents itself, whether it be leadoff, whether it be down in the lineup, wherever. I’m not really focused on all that. I think it’s more about getting myself prepared and wherever I’m put in the batting order, I’ll be ready to go.”

The vast majority of Victorino’s plate appearances last season came from the No. 2 hole. He had just 36 at-bats from the leadoff spot, hitting .194 with two doubles, a home run and seven runs scored.