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Thursday Red Sox Lineup: Pedro Ciriaco Plays Center

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August 26, 2012; Boston, MA, USA;Boston Red Sox third baseman Pedro Ciriaco (77) rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the fifth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE
August 26, 2012; Boston, MA, USA;Boston Red Sox third baseman Pedro Ciriaco (77) rounds the bases after hitting a home run during the fifth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-US PRESSWIRE

Pedro Ciriaco is being tested.

A pleasant surprise this season, even with his recent return to earth, Ciriaco offers plenty to a team. Speed, infield defense, and still a decent contact bat. Now he's getting a shot out in center field as Jacoby Ellsbury gets a night off, and if he can prove a viable glove out there as well, he may have earned himself a 2013 roster spot.

A super utility player who can play shortstop, center field, and can swipe a base or two--he has 15 in 15 attempts this season--is a valuable asset off the bench. That's even more true if there's something to his splits, and his ability to hit lefties at a solid clip is more than just a small sample size illusion.

Still, the lineup looks the worse for his presence--or, really, Aviles' presence when you get back to it--in place of Ellsbury. Against the lefty it's understandable, but it still just doesn't look good.


Lineup

BOSTON RED SOX TAMPA BAY RAYS
Pedro Ciriaco, CF Desmond Jennings, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B B.J. Upton, CF
Cody Ross, DH Ben Zobrist, SS
Ryan Lavarnway, C Evan Longoria, 3B
Mauro Gomez, 1B Matt Joyce, RF
Mike Aviles, 3B Jeff Keppinger, 2B
Daniel Nava, RF Luke Scott, DH
Scott Podsednik, LF Carlos Peña, 1B
Jose Iglesias, SS Jose Molina, C