Saturday, May 26, 2012
Gonzalez to roam Fenway's right field
By Joe McDonald
BOSTON -- As expected, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine decided to put slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez in right field for Saturday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park.
That means Kevin Youkilis will play first and rookie prospect Will Middlebrooks will start at third base. It’s not ideal, but Valentine said he’s trying to make the best of the situation with the Sox having seven outfielders on the disabled list.
“I don’t think it’s a perfect situation,” Valentine said.
During Boston’s recent road trip, Gonzalez played four games in right field, but that position at Fenway Park can be challenging, especially with nooks and crannies along the wall that surrounds the vast real estate in right. Gonzalez said he’s not concerned.
“It’s another right field, just like any other place,” he said.
* Left fielder Carl Crawford (elbow/wrist) began taking swings off a tee after being given medical clearance on Friday. He said after Friday’s game he felt good and suffered no setbacks. It’ll probably be at least another two weeks before he’s allowed to throw. He was scheduled to hit more on Saturday. “He’s feeling good and he’s excited,” Valentine said.
* Outfielder Ryan Sweeney was given medical clearance by the league after being examined for a concussion and was able to take BP on Saturday. Sweeney is eligible to come off the DL on Monday. “He took it slow today, so we’ll see what full speed feels like tomorrow,” Valentine said.
* Darnell McDonald (oblique) began his minor league rehab assignment with Pawtucket on Friday and was taking BP on Saturday at Fenway. He’s scheduled to play for the PawSox again on Sunday and Monday. If everything progresses, he could be activated on Tuesday.
* Rehabbing outfielder Ryan Kalish (shoulder) will began his minor league assignment for Single-A Salem on Saturday night. He’s scheduled to serve as Salem’s DH for five innings. “We’ll take it one step at a time,” Valentine said. “It’s great to have him back in uniform and on the field. We’d like him to have success obviously. The first step is to play pain-free, be healthy and then start putting up some numbers.”