MESA, Ariz. (AP) Shane Victorino is heading to extended spring training with the Cubs. The move became clear once he knew he wouldn't be able to break camp with the team because of his strained left calf.
The 35-year-old outfielder is going to ''recreate spring training'' for himself to see if he can still contribute to a major league team.
He originally said he wasn't interested in playing in the minors, but an ailing left calf and a talented Cubs roster is making him reconsider a stint in Triple-A.
''There is still a lot to talk about and discuss,'' he said. ''No one has told me, `Hey, you are no longer that player.' It's not from a performance standpoint; it's a health issue.
''I never got the opportunity to go out there to show the skills I worked so hard this offseason to get back. I want it to work out for both sides.''
Victorino, who has played parts of 12 major league seasons, is willing to head to extended spring and see how it goes before making a decision.
''I am undecided, but even having a discussion (about the minors) is a big step for me,'' he said. ''I stated publicly I'd probably wasn't going to do this. Do I want to do it? Do I need to do this? I am doing it because I love the game and I am committed to this.''
Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Thursday it's clear Victorino hasn't played enough to contend for a roster spot.
''He's not going to be able to start the season with us,'' Maddon said. ''We're working on alternative plans right now.''
Victorino played in four games and had 10 at-bats before the injury. He says the way he was treated by Maddon and the organization opened the idea of this path.
''We are basically recreating spring training for me,'' Victorino said. ''Some things still have to be laid out. I am willing and we are talking.''