It seems all but official: Adrian Gonzalez will play some time in the outfield on the road during inter-league play.
This move would make room for Boston’s two best hitters, Gonzalez and David Ortiz, to both play in the absence of the DH spot. While Gonzalez has only played one Major League game in the Outfield (he dropped a fly ball) his bat is too valuable to sit him down. He leads the MLB in batting average at .353 AND RBIs with 67 on top of his 15 home runs.
Ortiz has been tearing it up this season as well, batting .323 with 17 HR and 48 RBI.
Both of these guys are red hot and the Sox can not afford to leave either of them out of the lineup. Considering the sub par play of JD Drew (.235 avg 4 HR) in RF, it appears worth the risk to stick Gonzalez in Right for a few games.
To place Gonzalez in the open field running around when he is not used to playing this way raises some concern. The possibility of injury may worry some fans. However, it appears Francona will only use him there for a couple of games in ballparks with small right fields. Plus, you can bet they will tell Adrian not to lay his body on the line for any borderline plays.
Gonzo has won multiple Gold Gloves at First, and has shown the ability to make athletic plays in the Infield. Sox fans hope he can translate this athleticism to the Outfield and stay healthy, because the bottom line is: we need his bat.