Of all of Ben Cherington’s off-season gambles to bolster “clubhouse chemistry,” Victorino has paid off with the highest return. When Boston signed the Flyin’ Hawaiian to a three-year, $39 million deal last December, thousands of eyes across New England rolled in disbelief, especially since he was coming off the worst offensive season of his career and his defense had become a concern.
Perhaps it was his beard that gave Victornio, a switch-hitter, the idea to keep batting from the right side of the plate when he’s facing righties. In 55 at bats against righties while batting righthanded, he’s hitting .327 with three HR and a .949 OPS (as of Sept. 3).
No word on whether or not he shaves right- or lefthanded.