Just filling out the lineup card is a chore for Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine these days, considering all of the injuries Boston is currently dealing with. So when Kevin Youkilis returned to the lineup this week, the Sox skipper couldn't have been happier.
Valentine discussed Youkilis' importance to the Red Sox during an appearance on WEEI's Dennis and Callahan on Wednesday. He said that he can't see the Sox trading the versatile infielder, which comes amidst speculation that the Red Sox could eventually look to shop Youkilis around.
"We just got Kevin back and we're really excited about him being back," Valentine said. "Obviously, he added our only run last night. He's making up for a lot of deficiencies that have presented themselves at other positions. Trading him — I don't see that."
Valentine also spoke at length about Adrian Gonzalez's leadership, which has been shown by the All-Star first baseman's willingness to play right field. In fact, Gonzalez even once offered to pitch if it would have helped out the team, according to Valentine.
"The relationship I've had with Adrian from the first day of spring training has been one where he communicates his thoughts freely, and he has thoughts every day on what could be the best thing and the best solution for our team," Valentine said. "When this situation presented itself, it was eye contact was all that was needed. He came walking in and he said, 'If you're thinking about me in right field, go for it. I'll come out tomorrow and take fly balls.'
"He came out the next day and took some fly balls, we were ready to go," Valentine added. "And that was just with interleague play. When Cody [Ross] got hurt, he came in after the game and said the same thing. … In Adrian's case, it's simple to understand him. He just wants to do what's best for the team."
Valentine said he couldn't be more impressed with the quality of players he has on his club.