Ortiz to play first in interleague play

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Ortiz to play first in interleague play

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- The Red Sox begin interleague play Friday, which means Bobby Valentine will have to get creative with his lineup in order to get playing time and at-bats for DH David Ortiz.
With no DH allowed in games played in National League parks, Valentine hinted that Ortiz will play first base -- with Adrian Gonzalez shifting from first to right field -- at least once in the three-game weekend series with the Philadelphia Phillies.
"We've talked and we've thought through it,'' said Valentine. "You'll see him in the field. We'll see (about how often he plays).''
That will require an adjustment for both players. Ortiz hasn't played first base since Grapefruit League games in spring training, while Gonzalez hasn't been in the outfield since last June.
"I think they're both capable (of making the adjustment),'' said Valentine. "Adrian is playing (first) every day and asking him to run around in the outfield during this stretch, it might be much. I think David can catch it at first.
"But then you have (other) plays, you know, throwing with the runner in the (base) line... things that could happen. I don't think David's really familiar with pop-ups, either.''
Like his predecessor, Terry Francona, it seems as if Valentine will limit Gonzalez's exposure in the outfield to a single game, not wanting to risk any more.
"Maybe one,'' said Ortiz when asked how much he'll play first this weekend.
Asked if playing there during spring training will help the transition, he said flatly: "No,'' before adding with a chuckle, "I'm fine. No fear.''
The biggest adjustment, Ortiz said, was managing expectations
"It's not something I do often,'' he said. "So I try not to put pressure on myself. I'll try to have good communication with (Dustin Pedroia). I just don't want to be in the wrong place when it comes to catching a fly ball or catching a ground ball. I try to mark my territory, where I can be, and after that, let the guys who are out there every day take over. Keep it simple.
"I've played first base before. It's not like I've forgot. I know how bad you can mess things up over there, too. So, like I said, I'll try to keep it simple. I'll try to read the ball off the bat the best I can and make sure I'm not in Pedroia's way.''
Ortiz also saluted Gonzalez for willingly going to the outfield in order to create playing time for Ortiz.
"It's unbelievable, man,'' said Ortiz. "You're talking about a Gold Glove first baseman leaving his position for someone else to play. You don't see that too often. But Gonzo's a team player. He did it last year and he'll do it this year again.''

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

The angst surrounding the David Price- and (possibly) Drew Pomeranz-less Red Sox starting rotation may have eased a little -- or a lot -- on Thursday.

Steven Wright extended his string of scoreless spring-training innings to 9 1/3 by blanking the Pirates for 4 1/3 innings in his third spring-traing start, leading the Sox to a 10-7 victory over the Pirates at SkyBlue Park.

Red Sox-Pirates box score

Wright allowed two hits -- the only two hits he's allowed this spring -- with one walk and three strikeouts.

Several of his pitching brethren, notably Heath Hembree and Robbie Ross Jr., didn't fare nearly as well. (See box score above.) But the Sox -- using what may be their regular-season batting order for the first time -- bailed them out with a 16-hit attack, led by Dustin Pedroia (3-for-3, now hitting ,500 for the spring). Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and, yes, Pablo Sandoval each added two hits. Sandoval also drove in three runs and is now hitting .362.

Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-4 in his return to the Sox from the World Baseball Classic.

 

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies in a week

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies in a week

This isn’t your average young and hungry player on the brink of the big leagues.

Yoan Moncada, the ex-Red Sox prospect who was one of the principal pieces in the trade for Chris Sale, ate 85 Twinkies in a week, his agent told ESPN The Magazine

David Hastings, Moncada's agent, clarified to CSNNE that this was a one-time thing when Moncada first arrived in the U.S. Moncada had never had Twinkies before, Hastings said, so he was like "a kid in a candy store."

He's still in great shape. Moncada had a huge spring training with the White Sox after a disappointing major-league debut with Boston in September. 

The 21-year-old third baseman has been optioned out of big-league camp, so he’s slated to start the year in Triple-A. But he hit .317 with a .391 on-base percentage and .683 slugging percentage and 3 home runs in 41 at-bats — some of the best numbers anywhere.

Moncada took a $31.5 million signing bonus from the Red Sox, money that the Sox turned into Sale. Moncada, meanwhile, didn’t exactly invest every cent.

Twinkies weren’t his only indulgence. 

More from the story: 

Moncada had money to spend on drones, video games, toys and clothes. He sometimes spent $1,500 or more during nights out, David says. After he purchased the second $200,000 car, Josefa [Hastings, David’s wife] tried to talk some sense into him.

David Hastings reinforced to CSNNE that the message to Moncada was to invest in things that appreciate in value.