CLEVELAND Its been a whirlwind week for Danny Valencia.
He was traded to the Red Sox on Sunday from the Minnesota Twins in an August waiver deal, he reported to Triple-A Pawtucket where he went 3-for-7 in a pair of games and now hes en route to Cleveland for his first big league stint with Boston. The 27-year-old third baseman was expected to arrive at Progressive Field right around game time for the SoxIndians tilt, and might not be added to the 25-man roster until following the game if he doesnt arrive on time.
Valencia led the Twins in RBIs during 2011, but had hit hard times this year with Minnesota while hitting .198.212.310 in 34 games and struggling defensively at third base. Bobby Valentine said it was clear to see from the opposing dugout that hed fallen out of favor with the Twins coaching staff during their games against the Red Sox this season and so a change of scenery might be exactly what the doctor ordered for Valencia in Boston.
Youve probably read about how hes fallen out of graces with manager Ron Gardenhire and the Twins. He had two games with us after four days off and Pawtucket manager Arnie Beyler gave a very nice report, said Valentine. Hes very determined. He liked his approach at the plate. He liked his defensive abilities and thought his head was in the right place.
I dont know much aside from that there were opportunities for him to get into the game when we played Minnesota, and he never picked up a helmet or got off the bench. There was something that they didnt like over there. A second chance could be exactly what he needs and what we need. Im hoping thats the case.
Either way Pedro Ciriaco will get the first start in place of Will Middlebrooks as they prepare to put their stud rookie third baseman on the disabled list with a fractured right wrist.
Valentine said that David Ortiz will hit batting practice and do some running prior to Saturdays game. The Sox skipper still wouldnt completely rule out Big Papis availability for Sundays series finale against the Cleveland Indians, but the medical staff was trying to avoid a setback.
Valentine added that Ortiz is only feeling soreness in his right Achilles when hes running straight ahead. So hes got that going for him. Which is nice.
He had an off-day yesterday and felt great. Hes going to hit and run, said Valentine. From what gather it only bothers him when he runs straight ahead. Were trying to make sure that he has no setback.
The Sox may end up using Ryan Lavarnway in the corner outfield spots if push comes to shove, and the coaching staff wants to get the right-handed slugger some playing time. The Sox prospect actually played the outfield during a pair of his seasons playing baseball with Yale University.
I dont know if I mentioned this yesterday, but I think Lavarnway could play the outfield just watching him shag flies, said Valentine.