BOSTON Manager Bobby Valentine touched on various topics before the start of the Red Sox four-game series with the Indians Thursday night:
Outfielder Daniel Nava was called up, with right-hander Clayton Mortensen optioned to Pawtucket, and left-hander Justin Thomas designated for assignment. Nava is in the starting lineup, playing left field.
Our outfielders have really been put to task playing as much as they have been and another left-handed bat to spell our right-handers I thought was necessary and Daniels been real hot, said Valentine. I had great reports on him from Triple-A Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyeler and everybody whos seen him play and it seemed like the right choice.
I dont know that Clay could have done more. At about 4:45 this morning when I called him into my office I told him baseball and life isnt fair and nowhere does it say it has to be fair and this isnt fair to him. he pitched plenty well enough to be on this staff but he has an option and we needed a spot and luckily hes the kind of professional guy that understood it totally.
Asked his thoughts on Marlon Byrds outfield play, Valentine responded:
Hes gotten really good jumps on a lot of balls. It just seems thereve been a few balls that hes caught up with that he hasnt caught. I havent seen the misdirection.
On one ball hit over his head I thought he did have an awkward first step, straight back, but then he got back to it. The ball missed his glove. And Im not sure what to attribute that to. Hes playing very hard though. Hes giving us everything he has.
Valentine said what minimal discussion there had been about possibly moving third baseman Will Middlebrooks to the outfield has been tabled.
There really wasnt a lot of conversation about that. There was a couple of guys who had mentioned it. it was never a formal 'lets put this into play' conversation.
I suggest that its not an option at this time.