Mookie Betts is leading off as usual Wednesday afternoon, but he's doing so from an entirely new position, as the Red Sox attempt to kill two birds with one stone by shifting him behind the plate, allowing Rusney Castillo to start in center field.
Boston Red Sox (15-10)
- Mookie Betts, C
- Dustin Pedroia, 2B
- David Ortiz, DH
- Hanley Ramirez, LF
- Pablo Sandoval, 3B
- Mike Napoli, 1B
- Rusney Castillo, CF
- Shane Victorino, RF
- Xander Bogaerts, SS
Starting Pitcher -- Clay Buchholz
The move comes one day after Red Sox pitchers recorded a pair of wild pitches against the Rays with newly-acquired Sandy Leon looking uncomfortable working with the new pitching staff. And if it seems a drastic move, manager John Farrell was quick to answer concerns:
"We're just taking a look at Mookie back there, seeing what works and what doesn't. [Quintero and Leon] are still our top two choices to back up Ryan [Hanigan], but one game isn't going to hurt, and it's my responsibility to investigate every possible option."
"Don't forget, he wasn't even an outfielder this time last year, and all he'd need to do is start a couple games here and there until we're convinced that Blake Swihart is ready to go."
Betts, for his part, seems excited about the new challenge:
"Anything I can do to help the team win, I want to give it a try. I made the move from second to center last year, now it's center to catcher. If John thinks I can do it, I'm not going to argue."
"Honestly, there might be no better time for this. After all, catching teaches you a lot about the finer points of pitching, and I'm scheduled to start the last game against Philadelphia on the mound."