Using Adrian Gonzalez as Outfielder in NL Parks Is Too Risky for Red Sox

Red Sox fans were treated to a special scene at Fenway Park on Sunday.

Using Adrian Gonzalez as Outfielder in NL Parks Is Too Risky for Red Sox After seeing the Bruins honored for their Stanley Cup championship, the faithful watched as the Sox clobbered the Milwaukee Brewers by a 12-3 score for their eight win in their last 10 games. Coming into Tuesday, the Red Sox hold a league-best 14-3 mark in the month of June, scoring 10 or more runs in six of those wins.

Can this amazing run continue? Will the Boston offense suffer during the upcoming nine-game road trip to National League parks? Can the pitching staff avoid the injury bug? I tackle those topics and more in this week's mailbag.

I was at the Bruins ceremony prior to Sunday’s game with the Brewers. How does it compare to the other ceremonies held for the other championship teams in town at Fenway?
–Jeff, Sandwich, Mass.

I think it may have been the best. I really think it was the most well-attended. The Sox did a really good job of letting fans know when the ceremony was starting and it was a full house well before the ceremony, which is unusual. The day was perfect weather-wise and this town has been swept off its feet by these guys. I thought for the pure goose-bump factor it was the best.

The Celtics were very good also but as you may remember their parade at Fenway literally got rained on as they made their way around, so many fans stayed on the concourses and under the overhang which sort of took away from their day.

Generally, the Patriots have been celebrated on Opening Day since they have won in February. Those have been very special, when they all came from behind the wall at Fenway with the trophy. So they all are great, but I put Sunday's at the top for crowd reaction. Sadly, Jerry Remy and I wanted a picture with the Cup but had to settle for a miniature kid's version. It is hard to have a major celebration with such a small trophy, but we made due.

What are your thoughts on Andrew Miller and the thought of a six-man rotation?
–David, South Boston

I thought he was very good, especially taking into consideration the nerves he had to be feeling in his return to the majors. His last inning was obviously what got him in the end with the home run allowed to Orlando Hudson that tied the game, but overall it was a solid outing. I was very impressed with his poise after he allowed a leadoff triple to Jesus Guzman in the fourth then retired the next three batters to keep the Padres off the board. His velocity did appear to decrease but his curve and change were pretty good all night.

I think while this six-man thing may work for a little while with off days coming up, six games is too long for starters to wait for their next start. Something always happens though, like right now, with Josh Beckett out and Alfredo Aceves back in the rotation in his place.

Do you think the Red Sox should put Adrian Gonzalez in the outfield in the series in NL parks so that David Ortiz can play first?
–Aaron, Brattleboro, Vt.

I do not. I think it is terribly risky to play him out of position. I would be more comfortable with testing it out had he played there more in the past, but one game when he first came into the league and some in winter ball is not enough for me to move the best hitter you have to a position where he could injure himself.

I think you use David Ortiz as a pinch hitter in all the games you can, hitting for the pitcher or whomever late in games when needed. It is a long strech of nine straight games in NL parks, but I don't see the Red Sox having any other viable options. Maybe somewhere in the middle, give David a start at first base, but I know that Adrian likes to play all 162 games. Terry Francona has some decisions to make.

What is different about Josh Reddick? He appears to be much more patient.
–Marie, Amherst, Mass.

Absolutely. I think last year was a bit of a wake-up call. With all the Sox' injuries last year, he saw lots of outfielders pass him by in the minors and move up to Boston. Ryan Kalish, Daniel Nava and others went by him and I think he took a good, hard look at himself and what he needed to do better in order to get his shot. He was extremely aggressive at the plate and now he has matured into a patient hitter, getting into good hitter-friendly counts. His development is back on track and I think his playing time will increase with Carl Crawford on the DL.

I was at the Bruins ceremony prior to Sunday’s game with the Brewers. How does it compare to the other ceremonies held for the other championship teams in town at Fenway?

I think it may have been the best. I really think it was the most well attended. The Sox did a really good job of letting fans know when the ceremony was starting and it was a full house well before the ceremony which is unusual. The day was perfect weather wise and this town has been swept off its feet by these guys. I thought for the pure goose bump factor it was the best. The Celtics were very good also but as you may remember their parade at Fenway literally got rained on as they made their way around so many fans stayed on the concourses and under the over hang which sort of took away from their day. Generally, the Patriots have been celebrated on Opening Day since they have won in February. Those have been very special. When they all came from behind the wall at Fenway with the trophy. So they all are good but I put Sundays at the top for crowd reaction. Sadly, Jerry and I wanted a picture with the cup but had to settle for the miniature kids version. It is hard to have a major celebration with such a small trophy but we made due.

What are your thoughts on Andrew Miller and the thought of a six man rotation?

I thought he was very good. Especially taking into consideration the nerves he had to be feeling in returning the Majors. His last inning obviously was what in the end got him with the home run allowed to Orlando Hudson which tied the game. I was very impressed with his poise after he allowed a lead off triple to Jesus Guzman in the 4th he retired the next three batters to keep the Padres off the board. His velocity did appear to decrease but his curve and change were pretty good all night. I think while this 6 man thing may work for a bit with off days coming up it would be too long for starters to sit to wait for their turn.  Something always happens though. Like tonight with Beckett out and Aceves now in again.

Do you think the Red Sox should put Adrian Gonzalez in the outfield in the series in NL parks so that David Ortiz can play first?

I do not. I think it is terribly risky to play him out of position. Had he played their more in the past I would more apt to test it but one game while with Texas when he first came up and some in winter ball is not enough for me to move the best hitter you have to position where he could injure himself. I think you use David as a pinch hitter in all the games you can hitting for the pitcher or whoever late in games when needed. It is a long period being nine straight in NL parks but I don’t see you have a choice. Maybe somewhere in the middle give David a start at 1st but I know that Adrian likes to play all 162. They have some decisions to make.

What is different about Josh Reddick? He appears to be much more patient.

Absolutely. I think last year was a bit of a wake up call. With all the sox injuries last year he saw lots of outfielders pass him by and moved up to Boston. Ryan Kalish, Daniel Nava and others went by him and I think he took a good hard look at himself and what he needed to better. He was extremely aggressive at the plate and now he has matured into a patient hitter getting into good hitter counts. His development is back on track and I think his playing time will increase with Carl Crawford on the DL.

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