Battle for final roster spot continues for Red Sox

Battle for final roster spot continues for Red Sox
March 31, 2012, 9:26 pm
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PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Three Red Sox role players are vying for the final roster spot on the 25-man roster, and Saturday, Bobby Valentine did everything he could to see each of the players at as many positions as possible.

Pedro Ciriaco moved from short to second to third, back to short, back to second, back to third and, finally, back to short again.

Nate Spears began the game at second, went to third, moved to short, back to second, back to third, at short once more and finished at first base.

Outfielder Jason Repko, meanwhile, got four at-bats while playing center field for most of the game.

"Actually, Jerry (Royster, third base coach) did the whole thing,'' said Valentine of the near-constant shifting. "We wanted to make it seem like they were going in for defense at a different position -- all that simulated stuff.

"They moved around nicely. Nate played good defense, Ciriaco, too, at some different places.''

The Sox may wait another day or more before making the final decision on the 25-man roster.

"Ben (Cherington's) going to get reports and ask around,'' said Valentine. "Ultimately, the roster will be collaborative. But it's Ben's decision. It's a good one his first spring, a tough one. It's not made for him -- or us, for that

Ciriaco was 1-for-3 with two runs scored and a sacrifice. Spears was 0-for-4 with a walk and an RBI while Repko was 2-for-4 with a run scored.

Ciriaco is hitting an even .400 for the spring while Spears is at .295 with Repko at .262.

Valentine said the Red Sox will bring all three -- plus most of the players who got into Saturday's game -- to Washington for Tuesday's exhibition game with the Nationals.

The Sox must submit their 25-man Opening Day roster by 5 p.m. Eastern on Wednesday.