The Red Sox currently own one of the least productive outfields in baseball, though they were hopeful right fielder Shane Victorino would return from his hamstring injury within the next week. Instead, his rehab had to be shut down with another injury:
Stop me if you've heard this before: Shane Victorino has had a setback. Back soreness. No timetable for return #RedSox— Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) June 26, 2014
Victorino, 33, has been out since late May with the hamstring strain. He missed most of April with another hamstring strain. Victorino has battled numerous hamstring issues over the years but this is the first time his back is giving him a problem.
In only 21 games between injuries, Victorino has hit .242/.276/.352 (74 OPS+) with one home run and two steals this year. He hit .294/.351/.451 (119 OPS+) with 15 homers and 21 steals in 122 games last season en route to the team's World Series title.
It's worth noting top prospect Mookie Betts has started playing the outfield in the minors in recent weeks. He is a second baseman by trade. Betts initially moved to center but Thursday's game will be his first in right.
The 21-year-old Betts has hit .350/.436/.527 with eight homers, 28 steals, 47 walks and 33 strikeouts in 75 games split between Double-A and Triple-A this year. He could get the call sooner rather than later.