ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Ortiz said he expects to play at least one game at first base in Philadelphia this weekend.
Ortiz played 13 innings in the field over two games last season with Adrian Gonzalez going to right field for those 13 innings.
Ortiz laughed and said, "No!" when asked if playing a few games at first base in spring training had prepared him for the interleague road games.
"I'm fine," he said. "No fear. ... Wish me good luck."
Once he turned serious, Ortiz said he didn't want to put too much pressure on himself.
"Try to have good communication with [second baseman Dustin Pedroia]. I just don't want to be in the wrong place when it comes down to catching a fly ball or catching a ground ball. I try to mark a territory where I can be at and after that let the guys who are out there every day take over."
The Red Sox played nine interleague road games in a row last season. Ortiz was 0 for 11 in those games. He then hit .242/.353/.444 in the 26 games that followed before closing strong over his final 40 games.
The Sox get a little break this season with the interleague road games. They play three in Philadelphia then get 19 games with the DH before a six-game trip to Miami and Chicago starting on June 11.
Bobby Valentine wouldn't commit to how many games Ortiz will play in the field other than to say he would be out there.
"We'll see," he said.
Valentine said Ortiz and Gonzalez are "capable" of playing first base and right field, respectively. But he wants to be judicious with using Gonzalez in the outfield.
The Red Sox will pitch Daniel Bard, Jon Lester and Josh Beckett in the series against Cole Hamels, Joe Blanton and Cliff Lee.
In terms of the other stuff:
• Mauro Gomez was taking fly balls out in left field before batting practice. "Just in case," Valentine said.
• Catching instructor Gary Tuck has been away from the team for about a week. He is attending to a family matter. Chad Epperson, a minor league instructor, is filling in for him.
• Former Red Sox manager Don Zimmer, now a Rays adviser, is at the Trop today for the first time since the opening weekend. Zimmer, 81, has had kidney issues and been in and out of the hospital.
• According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Joe Maddon was playing Donna Summer songs in the clubhouse today in tribute to the disco diva, who passed away today.
• Kevin Youkilis has a scheduled day off today with Pawtucket and will play third base tomorrow. According to Valentine, it's up to Youkilis when he is activated.
• Daisuke Matsuzaka starts for Pawtucket tonight in Durham, N.C. It'll be his fifth minor league rehab start.