The last time Mike Aviles played the outfield was in 2002 when he played for the Newburgh Generals of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League.
But he will be in right field in Fenway Park against the Yankees on national television today.
Lefthanded hitters are .183/.242/.232 against Yankees starter CC Sabathia, so Josh Reddick was bumped out of the lineup. Darnell McDonald is a righthanded hitter but he is 1 for 10 against Sabathia. Aviles is 5 for 10 against Sabathia and was willing to give right field a shot.
“I’ve been out there doing my fly balls. Just working on it. I think it’s something I just have to go out and do,” Aviles said. “I feel good. We’ll see how it goes.”
When the Red Sox acquired Aviles from the Royals last week, Terry Francona asked him what he thought about trying the outfield.
“He came right back at me and said, ‘One thing you need you need to know about me. I’m arrogant and I’m confident,’ ” Francona said.
Then the Red Sox worked him out and liked what they saw. Aviles has speed and is a good athlete.
“You know what? If he messes up a ball, I’ll answer the questions,” Francona said. “Moving forward, this has a chance to help us with his versatility. It seemed like a good day to do it. Hes been out there every day shagging balls.”