Victorino reverses course, will hit right-handed only

Victorino reverses course, will hit right-handed only

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Less than a month after deciding to become a switch-hitter again, Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino has reversed course, and will hit right-handed only this season.

Manager John Farrell casually announced that decision during his session with reporters before Saturday's game in Bradenton, a trip Victorino did not make.

"He's going to hit from the right side exclusively," said Farrell. "I think with all the work he's been doing in the cage swinging left-handed, some of the tightness that he has, [he] felt it was as a result of the left-handed swing. That gets alleviated [swinging right-handed] and I think that has a chance to free up his mind, as well. That's the plan going forward with him -- he's going to hit right-handed."

The reason Victorino originally stopped hitting left-handed in August 2013 was due to some leg and side injuries he was dealing with at that time.

Victorino has been stronger from the right side of the plate in his career, but the 2014 season is the only one in which he didn't switch-hit at all.

Coming off back surgery, Victorino might have less on his plate -- mentally and physically -- by hitting right-handed only.

"You want the most productive at-bats, regardless of what side they come from," said Farrell. "And in Vic's case, it was starting to take its toll, just the reps he was going through to try to get that swing productive. It was starting to become counterproductive [to] the way he was feeling physically. That's the rationale behind him going right-handed."

Ian Browne is the Red Sox beat reporter for MLB.com. He has been covering the club since 2002.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.