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Running out of outfielders

Posted by Amalie Benjamin  April 30, 2008 05:34 PM

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With J.D. Drew's left quadriceps bothering him and Jacoby Ellsbury's right groin bothering him, that doesn't leave manager Terry Francona with a lot of options in the outfield. All three healthy outfielders on the 25-man roster are currently in the lineup, which means that Julio Lugo would need to fill in if anything should happen to Manny Ramirez, Coco Crisp, or Brandon Moss. (It's certainly looking good for Theo Epstein that the team designated Bryan Corey for assignment and left Moss on the roster.)

"There's not a lot of thinking going on," Francona said. "You kind of do what you do and hope the guys play good enough. You just get stuck. But Mossy will go out there and have good at bats. It's just, there's a little unease, especially when it's cold or wet, cause you're thinking, 'Jeez, if somebody else [goes down], you're thinking we've got to put Lugo out there. It's always in the back of your mind."

Lugo, though, didn't seem quite so excited about that possibility. He made 14 appearances in the outfield in 2000 and 2001 with the Astros, then played three games there with the Dodgers in 2006. He has one appearance there this season, in a fill-in capacity. He has six career starts there.

"No," Lugo said. "That's not me. I'm not a backup outfielder. It's not my call. I don't play outfield. I mean I can go out there and catch a fly ball, but I don't feel comfortable.

"If they put me out there, I've got to go. But I'm not an outfielder. I'm an infielder."

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