BOSTON -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was asked about the reasoning for giving Will Middlebrooks the night off on Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park, and he related the move to giving Adrian Gonzalez a chance to get back to his normal first-base position.
"I kind of gave Adrian a day off from running out to right field," said Valentine.
Gonzalez is back at first after being the team's right fielder when Kevin Youkilis returned to the lineup. Youkilis is playing third base on Friday night, and Middlebrooks is out.
As for if we'll see Gonzalez in right field at Fenway anytime soon, Valentine sounded like a manager who believes the time will come, and it could come on Saturday night, when Middlebrooks returns to third base.
"There's a chance of that happening, ya. But, you never know what's going to happen between now and then, so, we'll see what happens," said Valentine before Friday's game.
Some have expressed their dismay with putting Gonzalez in spacious right field at Fenway, but not Valentine. Not yet, at least.
"Some people have had that hesitation," said Valentine. "I'm not sure how to read it. I think he positions himself extremely well, and he gets a very good jump on the ball. Does that make up for some of the foot speed? I'm not sure.
"All I know is, thus far, when the ball's hit, we do a pretty good job of retrieving it, and the opportunities he's had has led me to believe that he can catch it, if he can get to it."