According to WEEI.com, Red Sox manager Terry Francona has approached Adrian Gonzalez about possibly playing right field during the National League road trip that starts later this week. Gonzalez, who normally plays first base, would move to right field to allow David Ortiz to play first base since the National League doesn't have a designated hitter.
Gonzalez spoke on WEEI's Mut and Merloni earlier today, and seems pretty open to the idea of playing right field:
"I don't know. We’ll see how it goes," Gonzalez said. "I have played the outfield in winter ball as well. When I was in Texas, Mark Teixeira was the first baseman. So in order for me to get into the lineup, I’d have to try it out in September in right and then I went and played winter ball, I played right field in winter ball.
"As we all know, I’m not fleet-footed, I’m not going to be able to cover a lot of ground or do anything in the outfield. But if it’s a fly ball, I should be able to catch it. I don't know what we're going to do. I haven’t talked to the coaches about it, so I really don’t know. If anything, we’ll mix and match there, and I’m sure we’re going to make sure that Papi gets his at-bats so he stays in rhythm and stays in the game and in the lineup."
Francona spoke to reporters prior to Monday night's game regarding the issue. While it does make since with the poor play of J.D. Drew and Mike Cameron, Francona would only pencil in Gonzo in right for a few games.
"Maybe a couple times just to get David [playing time] where he doesn't go 10 days without playing because that worries me," Francona said. "Gonzy did it and I know he's done it in Winter Ball and there are a few right fields on this trip that aren't huge so we'll see. That's the best way I can say it. It's gotta work, though. I don't want to outsmart myself but we'll see."
Even if it's just for a few games, I really wouldn't mind seeing this at all. With the poor play of both Drew and Cameron as of late, it certainly makes since so the Red Sox can have Gonzalez's and Ortiz's bat in the lineup, especially against the Phillies.
If he were to play right, he'd do so in PNC Park, Citizens Bank Park, and Minute Maid Park--not particularly difficult right field conditions. My only concern is injury. The last thing we want is for another injury to occur, especially to A-Gon.
I propose that Francona alternate Gonzo and Ortiz at first base when the Red Sox play the Astros and Pirates, two sub-par teams. However, put Gonzo in right field against the Phillies, when we really need both he and Oritz in the lineup.
What do you think?