Victorino returns from disabled list

Red Sox outfielder likely to see most of his playing time against left-handed pitchers

Victorino returns from disabled list

OAKLAND -- The Red Sox, looking for a spark wherever they can get it, activated right fielder Shane Victorino from the disabled list on Monday night and inserted him into the lineup against A's lefty Scott Kazmir.

For the time being, most of Victorino's starts will come against lefties. Jackie Bradley Jr., Brock Holt and Daniel Nava could all see time in right field against righties.

Victorino, a former switch-hitter who now hits only right-handed, has been an everyday player for most of his career, but he's battled to stay healthy the last couple of seasons and has better numbers against lefties.

"We had that conversation before unfortunately he went on the disabled list. We've had a chance to talk a few times about what he will be, or what his role coming back and the player he is right now, particularly with him being on one side of the plate and not switch-hitting," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "All those things are on the table and have been discussed."

In Spring Training, Farrell said that Victorino was the starting right fielder if "fully healthy and fully capable."

"I'm not saying he's strictly a role player by any means, but I think we also have to be realistic on the number of consecutive games played and what his body needs to continue to stay healthy for the long run," said Farrell.

Victorino tweaks hammy on steal

Victorino played 12 games before going on the DL with a right hamstring strain.

With lefty Drew Pomeranz starting for the A's Tuesday, Victorino will be in the lineup then as well.

"He's probably 90 percent or so," said Farrell. "And that final 10 percent is more about durability and endurance from game to game. We know there's still a ramping up phase we're in, but he's had success against these two left-handers and we're looking forward to him being on the field."

To make room for Victorino on the roster, the Red Sox designated utility man Luis Jimenez for assignment.

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.