BOSTON -- An unfortunate note for fans attending Sunday’s Futures at Fenway short-season Class A Lowell Spinners game: The newest addition to the team isn’t expected to play.
Instead, he’ll be getting one step closer to his future return to Fenway.
Outfielder Shane Victorino will restart his rehab with the Spinners on Thursday, his first game action since his initial rehab assignment was shut down June 24 with lower-back issues. He has been on the disabled list since May 24.
The plan for Victorino is to play the next four days straight -- two with Lowell and two with Triple-A Pawtucket. Manager John Farrell said the team's next move will depend on how Victorino responds.
Despite being inactive, Victorino has spent the last couple of days with the team. On Wednesday night, the 33-year-old was spotted alongside rookie Christian Vazquez at the top of the dugout in the ninth inning, jumping and cheering as the Red Sox completed a 5-4 comeback win against the Chicago White Sox.
“We haven’t given him a set of pompoms yet,” Farrell joked. “He’s still an energetic personality despite being on the DL. It’s because he cares. I know for a fact he’s more frustrated than anyone that he’s not active right now. He’s finding a way to stay involved and contribute, even if that’s just in a vocal manner right now.”
* Farrell reiterated Thursday that although Vazquez will be entrusted with the primary load of catching duties moving forward, David Ross will remain behind the dish when left-hander Jon Lester is on the mound.
With Thursday marking such an occasion, Ross is in the lineup batting eighth against White Sox lefty Jose Quintana.
“I’m not looking to change that up,” Farrell said. “When we come out of the [All-Star] break, that combination is still looked to be preserved.”
Farrell said that Vazquez and Ross will alternate starts in the team’s three-game series against the Houston Astros this weekend.
Also of note in the lineup, rookie Xander Bogaerts will get the day off against Quintana. Stephen Drew makes his return to shortstop after having Wednesday off, while Mookie Betts will move up to the sixth spot in the order.
Here’s the full lineup:
1. Brock Holt, 3B
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Mike Napoli, 1B
5. Jonny Gomes, LF
6. Mookie Betts, RF
7. Stephen Drew, SS
8. David Ross, C
9. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF