A full day's work for Aviles

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A full day's work for Aviles

DUNEDIN, Fla. -- It's rare when veteran players make 2 12 hour bus trips in spring training. It's rarer still when they're asked to play the entire nine innings, especially in the first week of Grapefruit League play.

But there was a method to Bobby Valentine's madness when he had Mike Aviles play from start to finish in the Red Sox' 3-3 tie with the Toronto Blue Jays.

"I like to keep watching (Aviles at short),'' said Valentine. "I don't really like to get short glimpses of him right now. I got to see him turn a double play and he was under control.''

He also lauded him for his role in a relay play in the seventh when the Sox cut down Toronto shortstop prospect Adeiny Hechavarria attempting to stretch a double into a triple on a ball hit to right. Valentine said Aviles was in "perfect position" for the relay, then made "a perfect throw" to third baseman Ryan Dent to catch the baserunner.

Aviles said the last time he played all nine innings in a spring game was in 2009, when he was playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.

With Jed Lowrie and Marco Scutaro dealt in the offseason and Jose Iglesias likely needing more seasoning at Triple A, Aviles is the clear favorite to become the everyday shortstop at the beginning of the year.

Aviles hasn't played shortstop with any regularity since 2008, when he played 91 games there for the Kansas City Royals. Since then, he's moved around the infield as more of a utility player.

"Out of all the positions,'' said Aviles, "the one that feels the easiest for things to come back naturally has been short for me. It's the one position I feel like I can take the least amount of reps and get the most comfortable quicker.

"With third, second or even the outfield, I feel like I have to take more reps to feel comfortable, whereas at short, I can take a couple days of groundballs and feel right at home. I'm starting to feel more comfortable playing the game, pretty much.''

Patriots place Vincent Valentine on IR, promote Geneo Grissom

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Patriots place Vincent Valentine on IR, promote Geneo Grissom

FOXBORO -- Anyone hoping to see Vincent Valentine make his season debut got some bad news Friday. 

Valentine, who has been inactive for both of the Patriots' first two games with a knee injury, was placed on injured reserve. ESPN's Field Yates was first to report the news.

With Valentine on IR, Geneo Grissom was added to the roster from the practice squad. ESPN's Mike Reiss had that one first:

Valentine, whom the Pats chose 96th overall in 2016, has not been practicing with the team as he's dealt with the knee injury.

A third-round pick of the Pats in 2015, Grissom was released by the team in September and signed to the practice squad a day later. 

Patriots-Texans injury report: Burkhead ruled out

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Patriots-Texans injury report: Burkhead ruled out

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Texans game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

OUT
RB Rex Burkhead (ribs)
DT Vincent Valentine (knee)

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (concussion/knee)
OT Marcus Cannon (ankle/concussion)
WR Phillip Dorsett (knee)
DB Nate Ebner (shoulder)
CB Stephon Gilmore (groin)
TE Rob Gronkowski (groin)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
WR Chris Hogan (knee)
LB Elandon Roberts (thumb)
CB Eric Rowe (groin)
WR Matthew Slater (hamstring)

HOUSTON TEXANS

OUT
G Jeff Allen (ankle)
WR Will Fuller V (shoulder)
CB Kevin Johnson (knee)

QUESTIONABLE
RB Alfred Blue (ankle)
NT Brandon Dunn (knee)
CB Jonathan Joseph (shoulder)
G Xavier Su'a-Filo (knee)
DE J.J. Watt (finger)

OFF THE LIST
TE Stephen Anderson (concussion)
CB Marcus Burley (knee)
T Chris Clark (wrist)
WR Bruce Ellington (concussion)
TE Ryan Griffin (concussion)