Red Sox Shane Victorino to bat exclusively right-handed


Shane Victorino is ditching switch-hitting once again.

Red Sox manager John Farrell announced Saturday morning that Victorino will now bat only from the right side of the plate.

After experiencing back tightness while swinging left-handed this spring, Victorino decided switch-hitting is not for him. The 34 year-old right fielder decided only a month ago to transition from batting left-handed back to switch-hitting, but has reversed his course once again.

“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,” Farrell explained. “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.”

Victorino was a switch-hitter until August 2013 when he transitioned to only hitting from the left side. He then went back to switch-hitting in 2014, a season in which he struggled with injuries and ultimately underwent back surgery during the offseason. This spring he had been swinging left-handed with plans to return to switch, but changed his mind to avoid further injuries.

“You want the most productive at-bats, regardless of what side they come from,” the manager continued. “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.

Victorino’s career batting average is higher from the right side, though he struggles slightly from this side against right-handed pitchers, but the main priority seems to be his health.

His Wikipedia page currently states he bats “Right (maybe will return to Switch).”

If he sticks with this decision, it will hopefully not only help prevent further injuries, but also grant him more success at the plate.