Aaron Bates, a third-round pick for the Red Sox in 2006, will play first base and bat ninth for the Sox tonight. Bates was spotted a few minutes ago at Fenway Park.
Bates was promoted from Portland to Pawtucket June 7 following a scorching May in which he batted .370 (40 for 108) with seven doubles, six homers, and 28 RBIs for the Sea Dogs. He also had a .456 on-base percentage and .602 slugging percentage (1.058 OPS), reaching base safely in all but two of his 28 games in May.
Bates is not on the 40-man roster, so the Red Sox moved Jed Lowrie to the 60-day disabled list. (Because Lowrie already has spent 60 days on the DL, this does not affect his eventual availability.) Jeff Bailey, who rolled his left ankle Saturday in a collision at first base, was placed on the DL.
Bailey had been called up to give the Sox some infield relief in the absence of Mike Lowell. Kevin Youkilis has been playing third base and Mark Kotsay has been at first, but Kotsay aggravated a calf injury last week in Baltimore, and the injury has lingered.
“I’m fighting a calf right now and it won’t leave me alone,’’ Kotsay said. “Hopefully, I can ride it through the All-Star break and get a couple days off. It’ll be a day-to-day thing and hopefully we’ll be able to grind.’’
Early last week, Francona said shortstop Nick Green could play third base while Lowell remains on the DL. So one possible solution to not having Bailey would have meant the Sox putting Green at third, Julio Lugo at shortstop, and moving Youkilis back to first. Apparently, for now, Bates is the option they're going with.
For more on Aaron Bates, check out the Boston Globe Minor League Notebook from a few weeks ago.
Here's tonight's complete Red Sox lineup:
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Kevin Youkils, 3B
4. David Ortiz, DH
5. Jason Bay, LF
6. Jason Varitek, C
7. Rocco Baldelli, RF
8. Nick Green, SS
9. Aaron Bates, 1B
-- John Smoltz, SP