Spring Training has been tough for Boston Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino. He has not been hitting the ball well for Boston or Team USA during the World Baseball Classic. It seems that all Shane needed was to play his former team the Philadelphia Phillies.
In the bottom of the seventh inning Victorino hit a triple that brought in three runs during Thursday night’s game where the Red Sox defeated the Phillies 6-1.
Red Sox manager John Farrell spoke with MLB’s Ian Browne on Shane’s performance. Farrell said, “Much like his first at-bat up in Bradenton the other day, he gets a fastball middle of the plate, puts a charge into it. I think the more regular at-bats he gets, the better his timing is becoming. It was encouraging to see the hard contact.”
This is what the Red Sox were looking to get from their investment when the acquired Shane last year. Before Victorino left to play in the World Baseball classic he was 0-for-11 earlier this spring for Boston. As the Red Sox were wondering if they were sold a bag of goods, Victorino’s triple is bringing the Red Sox coaching staff back from the ledge. Boston signed Shane to a three year deal worth $39 million, so setting high expectations for the player dubbed the “Flyin Hawaiian” is to be expected.
With injuries to players like David Ortiz, Boston will need all healthy players to be playing at their full potential. One game does not make his previous poor production forgettable, but I am guessing the Red Sox would rather Shane start slow in the Spring Training and be ready to hit his stride for the regular season.