Aviles to make outfield debut Saturday

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Aviles to make outfield debut Saturday

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins Insider Follow @hackswithhaggs
BOSTON Everyone should finally get a glimpse into why the Red Sox dealt for utility infielder Mike Aviles prior to the July 31 trade deadline when he makes his Red Sox debut in right field on Saturday afternoon.

Aviles was brought into the Sox fold from Kansas City for his versatility and the .316.349.945 numbers against left-handed pitching this season, and the Sox will test both by having him play right field and bat sixth against Yankees lefty C.C. Sabathia. Aviles hasnt played in the outfield regularly at any baseball level since playing for Division Concordia College, and actually hasnt played the outfield at all in the minor leagues or major leagues before heading into a nationally televised SoxYankees tilt.

Sox manager Terry Francona said that the main concern is not embarrassing Aviles by tossing him into the outfield after hes played primarily shortstop, second base and third base in the big leagues and the emergency left field play of Kevin Youkilis against the Yankees last season is what hes hoping to avoid.

Aviles put Franconas mind at ease with some braggadocio, and the former Royals utility guy now finds himself in the middle of the Boston lineup during a meaningful Red SoxYankees series. Something tells me he would have played anywhere that Francona asked him to.

"Aviles gave me a good answer when I asked him how he felt about it, said Francona. "He looked at me and he said, The one thing you need to know about me is I'm arrogant and confident. I said, So does that mean you'll go to the outfield? and he said, Yeah, which I thought was a good answer."

If Aviles can pull off the infieldoutfield thing, it gives the Sox manager the same kind of flexibility with offensive pop that Billy Hall provided last season before moving on to greener free agent pastures.

If he can go out there, it's almost like when we had Drew Sutton; it almost gives you a guy where you can go short and it doesn't hurt you. We'd like to get him out there in the outfield at some point. One thing you never want to do is embarrass anybody. Then a guy makes an error and I feel like I messed up. If he's comfortable enough, we'll probably get him out there at some point.''

It looks like both Aviles and Francona are comfy judging by todays lineup against C.C. Sabathia with the Yankees amidst an eight game winning streak.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.