FORT MYERS, Fla. –– Bobby Valentine continues to think long-term.
By penciling in David Ortiz at first base during Saturday's game against Boston College, the Red Sox manager isn't just thinking about interleague play. No, Ortiz manning first base could also be a possibility during American League games.
Valentine could give Adrian Gonzalez a breather and slot him as the designated hitter more often this year. That places the onus on Ortiz to patrol first base, a position he only played twice last season.
"[Ortiz] has done all the drills since he's been here at first base, so right now, he's conditioned to do it," Valentine said. "If in fact, during interleague play, it's determined that he should play infield, he'll have these reps on his resume. Then he feels if he's done it before this year, he can do it again.
"This isn't just to get him his at-bats. This is because I've talked to him and Adrian and there may be a situation during the year where he may be a first baseman."
As a result, Gonzalez will be taking fly balls Sunday –– not during the exhibition game, though –– in the outfield to expand his repetoire. When asked if Gonzalez would be placed as a designated hitter this season, Valentine offered a simple "maybe."
"But talking to him, he doesn't think so," Valentine said. "But after 15 innings or a day game or something like that, I think they all want to DH."