FORT MYERS, Fla. As a non-roster invitee with the Red Sox, Lyle Overbay knows he has something to prove this spring. He was brought in to compete to back-up first baseman Mike Napoli, who was diagnosed with avascular necrosis in both hips during his physical with the Sox this winter. While he had other opportunities, Overbay believed the Sox gave him the best chance.
Just trying to figure out which one worked for me and what was important to me and the opportunity to make the big league club and to win a World Series, those are kind of the two that are more important for me, Overbay said So those are and this is the place to do that.
But, these are all things I hate talking about it yet because I havent done anything yet. I havent made the team or anything. But I think Mike being in there every day, hes going to be successful, but if he needs a day off then hopefully I can match up with that Ive had success with and maybe not lose anything and give him a blow.
Overbay, who turned 36 in January, is a veteran of 12 big league seasons and five teams, including five seasons in the American League East with the Blue Jays. He is a career .270 hitter with a .353 on-base percentage and .438 slugging percentage. At Fenway Park, he is a career .323 hitter, going 51-for-158, with a .395 OBP and .500 SLG.
I love Fenway Overbay said. It plays right into my game. I feel real comfortable and I dont feel like I have to change anything.
One thing he would be willing to change if it offered him more opportunity would be his position. While he has strictly played first base in the big leagues. He was an outfielder at the University of Nevada-Reno when the Diamondbacks drafted him in the 18th round in 1999.
Whatever helps my chances, he said. Im here to help this team win and whatever I can do. Whatever. I played outfield in college. When I got drafted I never played first base in my life. So its something that I had to learn. But playing the outfield, I dont know its been a while since I played it but its something that I would love to explore if thats going to help my chances.