Following last night’s win over the Astros, Red Sox manager Terry Francona told the Boston Herald that he is leaning towards playing David Ortiz at first base tonight, which means Adrian Gonzalez will make another start in right field.
“If he plays (tonight), we’re looking at 13, 14, 15 (plate appearances), and we’re in good shape,” Francona said. “I feel good about David getting through this trip.”
Ortiz is 0-for-8 on the team’s current interleague road trip. He is hitless over his last 16 at-bats dating back to June 20.
Gonzalez played right field for the second time in his major league career Wednesday night against the Phillies. It was his first time playing the position since 2005 as a member of the Rangers. Gonzalez did jump to attempt to catch a fly ball hit by Chase Utley in the bottom of the eighth, but he didn’t make any putouts. It was largely uneventful and the Red Sox will hope for something similar tonight.
The Dodgers pulled through the five-game Championship Series without Corey Seager, but they’re counting down the days until their prized slugger/shortstop can make his first World Series appearance. He still has a ways to go before he can return to the field, however. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register reports that while Seager has been hitting off a tee, taking soft toss and running the curves of the infield, he’ll need to practice hitting in a simulated game before he can rejoin the team next Tuesday.
The 23-year-old infielder went 3-for-15 with a triple and two RBI in the NLDS earlier this month. He was sidelined in Game 3 of the series after making a bad slide into second base and sustaining a lower back strain. Although he’s made fairly rapid progress in his recovery over the last two weeks, he’s not back at 100% just yet, and Roberts said he won’t make a final decision on his status until it gets closer to game time. Even if Seager makes a successful return to his starting position, the Dodgers may not get the same .295/.375/.479 hitter they relied on during the regular season.
Provided that everything goes smoothly over the next two days, though, there’s a decent chance Seager will find his way to the infield — or, at the very least, to the plate. “We’re very optimistic,” Roberts said Saturday. “Corey doesn’t want to be denied.”