CLEVELAND Scott Podsednik and the Red Sox liked each other so much during their first stint together that theyre going for the sequel.
The Sox signed Podsednik to a big league deal on Thursday and hes been inserted into the starting lineup batting ninth and playing left field for Friday nights game against the Cleveland Indians. Podsednik was excellent for the Sox while filling in during a period of injuries, and hit .387 with one homer and seven RBI and a .893 OPS in 62 at-bats while filling in as an emergency outfielder during Jacoby Ellsbury's absence in the first half of the year.
Rookie outfielder Ryan Kalish was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket to make room for Podsednik, and it was largely about a veteran hand being better equipped to play in a reserve role.
Thats been Podsedniks lot in life at many points during his long big league career.
Hes back! proclaimed Bobby Valentine. We felt it was just a little upgrade over the way Ryan Kalish was performing. Its a little bit of an upgrade to an experienced guy thats used to not playing all the time. Kalish is a good, young player, but he was a little lost this time around. He couldnt get untracked.
Podesdnik is playing in place of Carl Crawford, who will get a scheduled day off with an early 6 pm game on Saturday against the Indians.
That way hell be fresh for the Baltimore and Yankees series, said Valentine.
The outfielder was happy to be back in the fold after refusing a minor league assignment from the Arizona Diamondbacks club he was sent to in exchange for Craig Breslow, and hoped to hit the ground running for the Sox. Hes been inactive for the last 10 days since the July 31 deadline deal to the D-Backs, but part of his value is veteran ability to perform at a high level with sporadic playing time.
I enjoyed my time here. I know these guys and they know me. Its a good fit and its another opportunity to play at this level. So it was a no-brainer, said Podsednik. I cant be that picky. Ben Cherington called and expressed interest and it was a no-brainer from there.
Well hit today in batting practice, Ill hit a few, get loose and go out there and compete.
The Sox lineup was otherwise consistent with Kelly Shoppach catching Clay Buchholz and the regulars rounding out the starting nine.
1. CF Ellsbury
2. SS Aviles
3. 2B Pedroia
4. 1B Gonzalez
5. RF Ross
6. 3B Middlebrooks
7. DH Lavarnway
8. C Shoppach
9. LF Podsednik