7/20/2014 1:10 A.M. ET
Betts slated to get more seasoning in Minors
By Ian Browne / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Now that Shane Victorino is back for the Red Sox, Mookie Betts can get back to Triple-A to round out his development.
As it was, it was a bit of a quick ascent to the Majors for Betts, who rocketed through the farm system after being drafted out of high school in 2014.
Betts hit .235 with a homer and two RBIs in 34 at-bats for Boston after being promoted to the Majors on June 28.
"I thought he managed his at-bats well," manager John Farrell said. "I thought he showed very good presence or at least composure for a guy who has flown through our system. He's a work in progress defensively, particularly in the outfield. And he'll continue to get exposure in center and in right field at Pawtucket while also playing some second base, so that's the plan going forward for him defensively."
The Red Sox are still keeping an open mind about where Betts will settle in defensively. He played exclusively in the outfield in his first stint in the Majors.
"I don't know that there's a clear-cut answer to that right now," Farrell said. "There's going to be a number of things that contribute to that final positioning: How the bat plays, how he further develops defensively, is he a guy that potentially moves around to a number of positions? I wouldn't rule that out. But to sit here today and say that Mookie is going to be at this position for the next 10 years, I don't have that answer in my crystal ball."
Victorino comes off DL looking to spark Sox
BOSTON -- Shane Victorino returned to the mix for the Red Sox on Saturday night, hoping that comeback 2.0 will be more successful than the abbreviated 21-game stint he had earlier this season.
To get back into contention for a postseason berth, the Red Sox will need Victorino's bat, glove and energy. He was a key component in the club's ride to the World Series championship in 2013.
Victorino, who was activated from the 15-day disabled list, batted .294 with an .801 OPS to go along with 26 doubles, 15 home runs and 61 RBIs. According to FanGraphs, he saved 23 defensive runs as an outfielder last season, fifth-most in the Majors.
In 21 games entering Saturday, Victorino had posted a .242/.276/.352 line. He went 1-for-3 with a single in his first at-bat in Boston's 2-1 win.
Victorino, who has been out since May 24, cautions people not to look at him as a savior. He batted sixth in his return.
"I'm not the guy. I'm not the answer. I'm not the guy that's going to carry the load," Victorino said. "I'm going to try to be as good as I can be to help this team win."
Both of Victorino's stints on the disabled list have been due to right hamstring woes, though his back prolonged his comeback this time.
"You know, this is what it's all about," Victorino said. "You work hard, you've got to do what you've got to do to get back as soon as you can. Unfortunately there were some setbacks. I'm here. I'm at this point. I worked hard to get back to where I'm at. I'm just going to continue to work hard and try to be the best player I can be, to go out there and do what I can to help make this team better."
To make room for Victorino on the roster, the Red Sox optioned Mookie Betts to Triple-A Pawtucket.
Brock Holt, who had been getting most of his playing time in right field during Victorino's absence, started at short against Royals lefty Danny Duffy on Saturday.
Holt can play all over the diamond and manager John Farrell estimates he will rove around enough to get about six starts a week.
Farrell will monitor Victorino's playing time at the outset and do his best to keep the right fielder healthy.
"We'll look at matchups where they're the best," Farrell said. "We're going up to Toronto with the Astroturf to contend with. We'll monitor that as he comes out of each game. I think it's probably going to be somewhere five times a week at least initially to build in some rest as well."
• The Red Sox aren't in any rush to get Will Middlebrooks back on the roster. Instead, they'd like the third baseman to settle in for some regular at-bats at Triple-A Pawtucket for a bit to get back in a hitting rhythm.
Because of a recent setback Middlebrooks had with his right index finger, the club was able to re-start his Minor League rehab clock at 20 days beginning on Friday.
"He'll continue to play every day at third base in Pawtucket," Farrell said. "I think there's been a little confusion with maybe some of the messages that's been interpreted that he was going to be activated this weekend or the same time that Vic has been. I think the one thing we want to be sure of, and that continues, is that Will continues to get everyday at-bats. For the time being, that will take place in Pawtucket."
• Though the Red Sox entered Saturday night with a 44-52 record, they led the American League with eight walk-off wins.
• Lefty Andrew Miller continues to be a stalwart performer for the Sox out of the bullpen and he hasn't allowed a run in his last 19 outings at Fenway.
"He's got strikeout ability," Farrell said. "That's what allows him to shut down innings. He's a closer in a certain sense in the seventh, eighth, whatever inning we call upon him with men in scoring position. The swing-and-miss ability is what allows him to be that type of pitcher."