The annual dilemma about what to do with designated hitter David Ortiz in National League parks has a new twist this year. Terry Francona said he has approached first baseman Adrian Gonzalez about playing right field to allow Ortiz to play first since there is no DH in NL parks.
"We've actually talked to him about that a little bit," Francona said before Monday's game with San Diego at Fenway. "I guess the best answer I can give you is, 'We'll see.' I'm glad he's willing to do it. I think it's admirable. I don't want David to sit nine straight games, that bothers me. I guess the best thing I can tell you is, 'We'll see.'"
The biggest concern to Francona is not wanting Ortiz to get stale over the nine-game trip through Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Houston, starting this weekend at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
"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."
As for Gonzalez, he said he didn't push for the outfield job but offered to try and help the team.
"I wouldn't say it was willingness," Gonzalez said. "It's the fact that I've done it before. If I was approached on it and Tito wanted to do it for a couple of games, I'd be OK with it. I know I'm not an outfielder and I wasn't an outfielder but if it meant to get Papi in the game and get him a few more games, it's definitely something I would do."
Gonzalez played the outfield one time while he was with the Texas Rangers and also played it while in Winter Ball earlier in his career. For more, visit the Red Sox team page at weei.com/redsox and the Full Count blog.
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