FORT MYERS, Fla. — Mike Aviles learned a few days ago that he would be the shortstop to to start the season, not Jose Iglesias. He kept quiet until the news broke today.
“I feel good,” Aviles said. “Iggy’s a great ballplayer and he’s going to be a great ballplayer. It just happens that they sent him down to work on some things. I wish him the best. I know he’s going to be back at some point, you know how that is. I came into camp, worked hard. I’m just happy the way things are.”
Aviles has not been an everyday shortstop since 2008, his rookie year with the Royals.
“I’m happy because I knew deep down that I could play short,” he said. “It’s just a matter of getting an opportunity. I’m fortunate to get an opportunity and I’m going to try to make the most out of it and help the team win.
“The bottom line is this team is not about Mike Aviles, this team is about the Boston Red Sox winning a championship and I’m just a piece of the puzzle. That’s what I’m trying to do, be my piece and do my part and help the team win any possible way.”
Aviles said getting the job didn’t change his outlook.
“You know what? In all honesty my pride is putting on the uniform every day,” he said. “It’s great that I’m going to be out there Opening Day and be the starting shortstop. But my pride honestly is coming to the ballpark and putting on this uniform. You think about how many people actually put this Red Sox uniform on and just to be thrown in that mix, that’s what I consider my pride.”
“No. It’s no different than any other day. I’ve got to come to the park and perform regardless, whether I’m starting or sitting on the bench and coming in in the fifth inning,” he said. “Either way I have to ready to play every day anyway. That’s why it doesn’t bother me. I prepare to play every day.”