BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox’s outfield just got a lot less crowded.
Interim manager Torey Lovullo said ahead of Boston’s game against the New York Yankees on Tuesday that he does not foresee Hanley Ramirez playing in the outfield again this season. This came shortly after Alejandro De Aza was traded to the San Francisco Giants at Monday’s Major League Baseball waiver trade deadline.
Lovullo said that with Ramirez’s shoulder injury and the fact that Mookie Betts, Rusney Castillo, and Jackie Bradley Jr. have been playing so well in the outfield, the Red Sox have decided to go in a different direction.
“I think we just walked through a couple different scenarios, and I think that with how the younger kids have been doing in the outfield, I think we want to give them the time there that they deserve,” Lovullo said.
The Red Sox manager also said the club has yet to determine exactly where Betts, Bradley and Castillo will play.
“You’re going to see Mookie getting some reps in left and right in pregame,” Lovullo said. “You’re going to see Rusney get some reps in left field, and Jackie obviously is very good at all three. We’re going to wait for the go sign from (outfield coach) Arnie (Beyeler) when he feels comfortable that these guys can be moved in a game situation in different positions.
“We’re going to explore that. We haven’t yet clearly defined who’s playing where, but once we make that decision, we’re going to leave those guys there. We’re not going to mix and match them through their entire career. We’re going to try and piece together the best outfield for the Boston Red Sox in 2016.”
And while that might sound as though the three young outfielders will be staying in Boston for years to come, Lovullo couldn’t definitively answer whether or not that would be the case.
“That’s not my department,” Lovullo said. “I do know that I love those three kids out there. I feel very comfortable when they’re in the outfield playing the way they’re playing right now. So that’s above my level to determine if they’re available for a trade or not.”
As for Ramirez, there’s still no timeline on when the left fielder — or should we say first baseman? — will return to game action, but Lovullo said he’s “hopeful” it’ll be some time this season.
Thumbnail photo via Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Boston Red Sox designated hitter Hanley Ramirez hits against the Texas Rangers