clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Shane Victorino expects to be the Red Sox' starting right fielder in 2015

New, comments

Shane Victorino expects he'll be the one starting in right field for the Red Sox come Opening Day, but at the moment, that's not an easy scenario to imagine.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox have many outfielders and only three starting spots to split between them. But if you ask Shane Victorino, there's no question that one of those three jobs is locked up. Victorino made it clear to WEEI's Rob Bradford that, at least in his mind, right field is his to lose:

But if I'm healthy if there's a better outfielder in right field then show me and go out there and do it. I'm not saying that in a cocky or arrogant way. It's just how confident I am to know I should be the starting right fielder.

It's not all that hard to see where Victorino is coming from when you take into account the fact that he's the two-time All-Star and was one of the most valuable players on the 2013 team that won the World Series. Considering that he's up against a pair of players who have yet to see a full major league season in Mookie Betts and Rusney Castillo...well, seniority, at the least, would dictate that Victorino gets the nod out of the gate.

But right now it's kind of hard to imagine that he'll be topping the depth chart in right (or center, for that matter). The Red Sox did not sign Rusney Castillo for $72.5 million with the intention of having him start 2015 in Triple-A. The Red Sox are not interested in having Mookie Betts miss playing time by riding the bench in Fenway, and after hitting .291/.368/.444 in 213 major league plate appearances last year, it's clear he's not meant for the minor leagues either. There's just not that much left to learn for him in Pawtucket, if anything.

Add to that the fact that Victorino's fragile nature these past couple years seems to make him an ideal candidate for a backup role--if one more active than the norm--and it's hard to see the Red Sox going with anything but a Ramirez - Betts - Castillo outfield to start 2015. (Cespedes is presumably on the way out.)

Of course, there's plenty of time for that to change. Who knows what convoluted turns the Red Sox may make through the trade market. And there's always the chance for spring training to throw us a curveball, even if March performances are historically irrelevant. Still, if everyone makes it to April healthy and still in a Red Sox uniform, it's easier to imagine Victorino starting the season on the bench than in the lineup.