Terry Francona acknowledged that the organization has discussed the possibility of Adrian Gonzalez playing rightfield on the nine-game interleague road trip which starts Friday in Pittsburgh.
And Gonzalez said he would be up for it if the Red Sox needed him to do it in an effort to get David Ortiz some playing time. Ortiz has been taking ground balls at first base the last couple of days.
If Gonzalez agrees to play a couple of games out there, Ortiz would have a chance to remain sharp and not just be used in pinch-hit situations. In the past, the Red Sox had a three-man platoon with Mike Lowell-Kevin Youkilis-Ortiz in interleague play in the National League park. That option no longer exists.
Gonzalez’ outfield play has been limited to playing right field in winter ball and one game in 2006 with Texas back when the Rangers had Mark Teixeira playing first base.
Boston’s dilemma: You don’t want to risk getting your star player injured playing a position he’s not used. Now playing the outfield doesn’t have to be an injury-sentence for a player not used to playing there, but there’s always that risk.
“We’ve talked to him (Gonzalez),” said Francona. “We’ll see. I’m glad he’s willing to do it. I don’t want David to sit nione straight games…maybe a couple of times…I know he’s done it. We’ll see.”
Dave Roberts, Jed Hoyer, Jason McLeod, and Anthony Rizzo, acquired in the Gonzalez deal, were all on the field speaking with the media moments ago.
“Adrian is just a great hitter and I know he’s going to be incredible in this ballpark,” Hoyer said. “You always hope you make a deal that helps everyone out and I think we have. Anthony is a great kid with a lot of potential. We’re very happy with the progress he’s made. Casey Kelly has reached 95 on the radar gun and Raymond Fientes has stolen a lot of bases in A -ball.”
Francona on 80-year-old Jack McKeon getting the Marlins managing job: “I’ll be dead 10 years…the third heart attack into it. It amazes me.”
Jed Lowrie is taking his X-rays to Dr. Lewis Yocum in LA to check out his ailing left shoulder…
Bobby Jenks is now throwing from 200 feet and may soon throw from the mound….
Good line by Francona on seeing Dave Roberts, Padres first base coach: “If it wasn’t for Dave, I’d be talking to someone else (different media).”