Shane Victorino DL decision likely on Thursday

Jim Rogash

Victorino's bad back has escaped the DL for now, but that could change.

Shane Victorino has been bothered by a back spasms of late, but it hasn't put him on the disabled list yet. At first, he missed a handful of games, including both ends of a Sunday doubleheader against the Royals, but he returned in time for the next series against the A's. He was then pulled from the third game in that series, though, and has not played since April 24.

He hasn't been placed on the disabled list yet in part because the Red Sox haven't needed the space. Mike Carp has filled in as the left fielder while Daniel Nava has shifted to right, and both parties are hitting well on the year. Boston is obviously being cautious given Victorino's back flared up twice in such a short stretch, but at this point, with Victorino not having played for over a week now, a decision about the disabled list will come soon.

According to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal, it's likely to happen on Thursday if it's to happen at all. Victorino hit in the batting cage at the Rogers Centre on Tuesday, and is expected to increase both the number of swings and the intensity of them on Wednesday prior to the game against the Blue Jays. If all goes well, he'll attempt to take his cuts on the field before Thursday's contest. At that point, if he can participate in these activities without a recurrence of the back spasms, Boston should be able to head into their next series with Victorino active once more.

If not, though, then Boston will likely have to make a move. Jackie Bradley Jr. could be recalled, but he hasn't shown himself to be big-league ready just yet. They might not want to interrupt his development by having him spend a little over a week as a bench piece. They could designate someone for assignment -- say, Alfredo Aceves, in the hopes he clears waivers due to a lack of interest from the league -- and add a minor-league outfielder who is not yet on the 40-man instead. There's no indication which way they are leaning, but it's worth noting that they sat Bradley in a pair of games earlier in the week, possibly not just to rest his minor shoulder injury, but maybe also to make sure he was healthy in case of a call-up for Victorino.

Then again, a call-up would reset that 20-day count he needs in order to be under team control for 2019, rather than have his deal end after 2018. He's currently 13 days into the 20 necessary, and can be called up with no service time concerns as of Thursday, May 8. With all that in mind, maybe Boston doesn't go the JBJ route once more after all, at least, not quite yet.

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