Valentine: Red Sox defense making strides

Valentine: Red Sox defense making strides
May 15, 2012, 7:29 pm
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BOSTON -- Strikeouts aren't the end of the world.

That's according to Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, whose pitching staff ranks 25th (out of 30) in Major League Baseball with 242 strikeouts.

The reason it's not an issue? Defense.

Valentine said before Tuesday's game against the Seattle Mariners that "part of the team is playing good defense."

"You look at it, and you get the metrics and the numbers in columns, and you see how guys are feeling about themselves, and you poll the coaches, and you pretty much come up with how you're playing," said Valentine. "And I think we're playing pretty good defense. Especially in the infield."

And especially, shortstop Mike Aviles, whose improvements at short have been "huge," according to the Red Sox manager.

"He's made all the progressions," said Valentine. "He's learning to move with hitters and to position himself properly. He always knows the speed of the runner. He's been huge. The stability of him has been huge for our defense."