It has to be Youk

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It has to be Youk

Back in 1994, Danny Glover, Christopher Lloyd and Tony Danza joined comedic forces to bring us the legendary film "Angels in the Outfield." The movie, with its airtight script and freight train of laughs, was a surprise hit at the Golden Globes before moving on to a historic sweep at the Oscars. The world has never seen anything like it, and probably never will.

However, this season in Boston, the Red Sox are filming their own version of the mid-nineties classic, aptly named: Injuries in the Outfield. It's nowhere near as funny, but almost as compelling and has left Bobby Valentine in a tough little predicament.

But if there's one benefit to the sudden lack of outfielders, it's that it's delayed a decision on what to do at third base. It's allowed the Sox to shift Adrian Gonzalez to the outfield, while leaving Kevin Youkilis and Will Middlebrooks in the every day mix, and keeping everyone happy. So far, it's been a hit, as the Sox have won four of five games to move past .500 and within two and half games of first place in the A.L. East. Hollywood ending, right?

No. Unfortunately, it won't last. Before long, the outfielders will start coming back to life, and Bobby V., Benny C. and Larry the Terrible will have to make a decision: What do you do at third base?

My answer now is the same as it was last month: You have to trade Kevin Youkilis or do SOMETHING that allows for Middlebrooks to remain the every day third baseman.

Listen, at this point, the kid is no fluke. Sure, he's come back to Earth a little since his torrid start, but he has a month in the books and is still above .300, he's still showing power, an ability to hit in the clutch, and he'll only get better with time. Meanwhile, Youk is as good as he's going to get. He's no where near as good as he was. At third base, the future is now.

But in the outfield, the present is a mess. And for that, the Sox will continue to have the luxury of delaying a decision on third base. But sooner or later they'll be forced to act, and here's hoping they do the right thing.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Thursday's Red Sox-Angels lineups: Sox kick off road trip with Price

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Thursday's Red Sox-Angels lineups: Sox kick off road trip with Price

The Boston Red Sox send David Price (9-7, 4.51 ERA) to the mound to kick of their long road trip against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The Angels will counter with righty Jered Weaver (8-8, 5.32 ERA).

The lineups:

RED SOX

Mookie Betts RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Hanley Ramirez 1B
Jackie Bradley Jr. CF
Travis Shaw 3B
Sandy Leon C
Brock Holt LF

David Price LHP

ANGELS
Yunel Escobar 3B
Kole Calhoun RF
Mike Trout CF
Albert Pujols DH
Jefry Marte 1B
Andrelton Simmons SS
Jett Bandy C
Gregorio Petit LF
Johnny Giavotella 2B

Jered Weaver RHP

McAdam: Poor homestand puts Red Sox on tough road

McAdam: Poor homestand puts Red Sox on tough road

The Red Sox had their chance.

They could have beefed up during the just-completed homestand and taken advantage of the worst team in the American League (Minnesota) and another that was only three games over .500 when it came to town (Detroit).

Instead, the Red Sox were just 2-5 in the last seven games at Fenway, losing ground in the standings to the Orioles and Blue Jays rather than making the race tighter.

That's not to suggest the Red Sox played their way out of contention in the last week. There are better than two months remaining in the season and the schedule isn't yet two-thirds complete.

Moreover, there is no dominant team in the East, and, thus, no one capable of pulling away and leaving the rest of the teams in their wake.

Baltimore and Toronto are flawed, too, as the first 100 or so games of the season have demonstrated.

But what the disappointing homestand means is this: Because they didn't win as much as they should at Fenway in the last week, the Sox will have to make up for that on the road.

As has been talked about ad nauseum in the last week, the schedule is about to become more demanding for the Red Sox. It's bad enough that they're in the middle of a stretch that will see them enjoy one (1) day off in the span of 44 days. Making matters worse is that 41 of the final 63 games are away from home -- including the next 11.

Put another way: The Red Sox have not yet had a three-city road trip this season, but all four of their remaining trips are of the three-city variety, including two that include travel to the West Coast.

The Red Sox have played fairly well on the road (21-19) -- they're one of just four teams in the American League with a winning road record -- but the simple fact remains: It's harder to win on the road than it is at home. And that's before you take into consideration the toll that lengthy road trips can take.

Of the next three road opponents, one has a losing record, and another is just two games over .500. Only the Los Angeles Dodgers, next weekend's interleauge road opponent, are playoff contenders from among that group.

Then again, the Red Sox thought they could roll over the Twins last weekend and came away with a four-game split, so it's difficult to handicap these things.

It should help, too, that the Red Sox are getting healthier.

Junichi Tazawa returned this week, and Craig Kimbrel could be back as early as Monday in Seattle. Chris Young and Josh Rutledge could rejoin them before they head out on their next road swing in mid-August.

With all the talk of the daunting schedule and demanding travel ahead, Dustin Pedroia was having none of it.

"We can play just as well on the road as we have at home,'' said Pedroia. "That stuff (the schedule) is irrelevant.''

Maybe. But one way or another, we're about to find out.

Source: Sox seek smaller pieces, not big names, at trade deadline

Source: Sox seek smaller pieces, not big names, at trade deadline

BOSTON -- According to an N.L. talent evaluator who is familiar with some of the Red Sox ongoing talks with teams leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline, the Sox seem focused on adding a bullpen piece and/or back-end starters.

The need for the former is rather obvious, given the current injuries to Criag Kimbrel and Koji Uehara. The Sox can use some upgrades and another experienced arm to guide them through the final two months.

As for the rotation, it's not a surprise that the Sox aren't serious bidders for more glamorous names like Chris Sale, since that would require them to gut their farm system.

But the team's starter depth is perilous, with only Clay Buchholz in reserve. It makes perfect sense that the Sox would be seeking someone else to help provide them with insurance against further injuries or under-performance.