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Youkilis ready to get to work at third base

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  February 15, 2011 09:13 AM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. Kevin Youkilis held court with the media for a while today. Youk is very pleased to be moving back to third base, which was the position he played coming up through the minors.

He took more grounders than usual this winter, both because of the position switch and the two months he missed last season with a thumb injury.

Youkilis will work a lot with infield coach Tim Bogar this spring on regaining his reactions at third. "But it's not going to be a problem," he said. "After a few days you get used to it."

Youkilis said he will not miss first base too much. He said he hates holding runners and he doesn't like chatting up people at the bag.

Asked where he wants to hit in the lineup, Youkilis said anywhere from 3-7 would suit him. He's also getting to know Adrian Gonzalez well, saying the two have talked a lot about hitting.

Gonzalez, he said, claims to be slower than Victor Martinez. "I don't know if that's possible," Youkilis said. "And I told Victor that."

Darnell McDonald checked in today. He said he worked on his speed this winter, something he picked up on after spending his first full season in the majors. He's also eager to play with Carl Crawford, an old friend of his.

Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jon Lester, Tim Wakefield, Scott Atchison, Rich Hill, Andrew Miller and Matt Albers are among the pitchers who will throw in the bullpen today.

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