Victorino likely to resume switch-hitting

Injuries forced veteran to hit from only right side of plate starting in '13

Victorino likely to resume switch-hitting

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Look for Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino to return to switch-hitting this season, something he hasn't done since August 2013.

Thanks to a variety of injuries, Victorino hit right-handed only for the final two months of Boston's World Series championship season in 2013, and he got red-hot in the process. He remained as an exclusive right-handed hitter for that postseason, and in his injury-plagued season of '14.

Victorino has come to camp healthy this year, and manager John Farrell is eager to see the veteran regain his stroke from the left side. Boston's entire starting outfield would consist of right-handed hitters if Victorino continued to refrain from switch-hitting.

"It's likely that he hits left-handed in games," said Farrell. "If you think about in '13 late in the year, he switched solely to the right side because of some physical restrictions. With those being freed up now, the left-handed side of the plate comes into play."

Outlook: Victorino, RF, BOS

Considering how long of a layoff Victorino has had as a left-handed hitter, it could take him some time to regain his timing.

"Every guy is going to be a little bit different," Farrell said. "He's going to take all the extra work that he physically can tolerate. I think until we get into games, it'll probably be a better read on how many at-bats left-handed it would require."

Farrell thinks it's better for both Victorino and the Red Sox if he can be a switch-hitter.

"What I would hate to see happen is, here's a nine-year Major League veteran who's switch-hit the entire time all of the sudden be solely one-sided," Farrell said. "There was a reason why he hit left-handed to begin with, and that was to better attack right-handed pitching, and that's what he's fortunately been able to put himself in a position to do physically."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.