Josh Reddick will get the start in right field today, replacing the struggling J.D. Drew, who is batting .219 on the year. Since his May call-up, Reddick has hit .378 with four home runs and 18 RBI in 29 games.
"It's a great feeling, being a part of a lineup like this," Reddick said before today's game.
Since Carl Crawford returned to left field and Reddick has been so productive lately, Red Sox manager Terry Francona felt he had to figure out a way to keep Reddick in the lineup. The answer (at least for tonight)? Right field.
Francona said he called Drew last night to tell him about the lineup change.
"[Reddick is] swinging the bat awfully well," Francona said. "It's kind of hard not to play him. ... Josh deserves to play. He's given us such a lift in our lineup.
"We want to win games. At the moment, Red gives us a better chance."
Yesterday, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein appeared on WEEI and he, too, had nothing but praise for Reddick. "You can't deny what Josh Reddick is doing," Epstein said.
The flipside of playing well is that you become a possible trading chip. Reddick was asked about the trade rumors swirling around as the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaches.
"You need to keep your mind focused on winning the ballgame," Reddick said. "I just push that talk aside and hopefully let my actions do the talking, keep my mouth shut on that kind of thing.
"I'm here to help the ball club whenever I can to win ball games."