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Farrell: Shane Victorino is my right fielder

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mookie Betts is all the rage with the Red Sox, but if he’s thinking about being in the starting lineup, he might have to find a position other than right field.

“If Shane Victorino is fully capable and fully healthy, he’s our right fielder,” manager John Farrell said Friday. “I mean, that’s pretty simple. He was one of the best right fielders in the game two years ago.

“When you come back from injury, you shouldn’t have lost your job because of an injury. He’s rehabbed it successfully to date, and going forward we’ve just got to monitor the recovery. We have a full spring training to do that, and probably into the first part of the year.”

Of course, a healthy Victorino is anything but a given. The 34-year-old has a history of hamstring problems, and he had back surgery on Aug. 5 after experiencing weakness in his legs, a lumbar discectomy to repair a herniated disk. Victorino managed just 133 plate appearances in 30 games last season, hitting .268 with two home runs and 12 RBIs.

Betts, meanwhile, was converted from second base to the outfield and had a slash line of .291/.368/.444/.812 in 52 games.

Farrell said he’s very encouraged not only by when Victorino reported -- Wednesday, a week before the first full-squad workout -- but by what he looked like.

“He is full-go baseball activity,” Farrell said. “The way he’s talked in the clubhouse indicates he feels good about himself. We’ll find out as we go through camp the durability from day to day and the volume that will increase throughout camp.”

Some of Farrell’s other comments from Friday’s media session:

• On the scrutiny of Pablo Sandoval's weight, after a picture set off a Twitter firestorm this week: “No, (I’m) not concerned about his weight. There are a number of people he’s working with here to make sure he’s on the field every day, and that would be the case throughout the course of the regular season. We were well aware of Pablo’s career and who he is as a person long before he signed here. We’re looking forward to getting him on the field and acclimating him into this roster.”

• On whether Sandoval could be put in the category of other players, like Tony Gwynn and Kirby Puckett, who played with big bodies and yet remained very athletic: “His body hasn’t changed since signing with us. He’s a guy that’s converted from catcher to the third-base position and transitioned successfully at it a number of years ago. His body works for him. If he didn’t perform to the level that he has, I don’t know that we’d have pursued him as a free agent. But he’s here and he’s ours, and we’re extremely happy he is.”

• On questions about his pitching staff going into camp: “There’s probably an area in the bullpen we have some competition for. Whether that’s one or two slots, we’ve got a number of guys competing and that will work itself out in camp. I’m excited about the five guys in the rotation. This is a group that has established themselves individually at the big league level. There’s been All-Star-performance capability at that level, and there’s been a lot of talk we lack a true No. 1 guy -- I like the fact this is a deep and talented rotation, and [I’m] confident in it.”

• On concerns that the Red Sox have always had an ace -- Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Curt Schilling or Pedro Martinez -- during the past 20 years: “If you look at each one of the names you mentioned, they were in similar situations to some of the guys in the rotation now. They evolved to garner the label of a No. 1 starter. I think we have those abilities in here. What Rick Porcello is going through, he’s evolving into that type of guy. Joe Kelly has the ingredients to be that type of pitcher, but that’s going to come through an earned, if you want to call it, label. They have to earn it. They have to do it through consistent performance. The raw ability is here. It’s just how we develop one or more to that capability.”

• On talk of a trade for Phillies ace Cole Hamels: “He’s a member of the Phillies, and we’re concerned and focused on the guys inside our clubhouse -- no one else at this point. I’m happy with the guys we have and looking forward to how they perform. [GM] Ben [Cherington] uses the comment or the phrase 'Happy but never satisfied.' So where that leads us to any other situation, I don’t know anything specific. But I like the guys we have here right now.”

• On whether he draws confidence from the team’s worst-to-first transformation in 2013: “There are some similarities. I’m confident to say they’re similarities because of conversations that happened in the offseason. There’s a sense of wanting to redeem themselves for the returning players after a frustrating and, in some ways, embarrassing year for a lot of guys. There’s some natural excitement around players we just brought in through free agency or trade. So when you think of those two elements at play, there are some similarities to that year.”

• On David Ortiz: “We’ve traded some messages along the way. I haven’t spoken to him directly. But he and Vic have been really good about sending pictures. David for years has come into camp ready to go, even despite a couple of years ago where the Achillies was a maintenance [issue], which is ongoing. But there’s nothing to date that says he comes in less than 100 percent ready to go.”

• On the pressure of being a manager in Boston, with increased scrutiny after a down year: “Welcome it. This is a very special place to work, because of the passion of our fans that either come to the ballpark or watch and pay close attention to us. That either causes you uncertainty and you don’t identify it or don’t want to be a part of it, or it draws you to it. To me, it draws me to it. The intensity is something that you live for because when it works right, there’s not a better place to be involved with in major league baseball.”