The Red Sox didn’t acquire a first baseman ahead of Friday’s trade deadline, but are hoping to create one in Kyle Schwarber.
Schwarber hasn’t made a debut for his new team yet, arriving on the injured list with a hamstring strain. But he did make a promise for when he returns.
“I am looking forward to the challenge,” Schwarber told reporters when asked about learning to play first. “I’m not a guy that’s gonna shy away from something. You know, I mean, they asked that, I said ‘let’s go.’ Trust me, I’ll be working my butt off to be over there. … I know that people can be a little iffy, or whatever it is, if you see a guy that hasn’t played first base before. But I will give you guys my word that I’m going to be working my butt off over there and to the best of my possible abilities. It’s not like I haven’t learned a new position before. You know, I was a catcher coming up through all the minor leagues, college, everything like that, and pretty much just got thrown up in left field in the big leagues.”
The 28-year-old has been in this position before, but manager Alex Cora assured he wouldn’t be locked into first if it doesn’t work out as planned.
Schwarber is betting on his athleticism and work ethic.
“I view myself as a pretty good athlete, and I just want to be able to go out there and make sure you have the basics down,” Schwarber said. “And, you know, as you keep progressing you keep learning things. But I know that obviously there is a sense of urgency here with where the club’s at, and I’m gonna do my everything that I possibly can to make sure that if I’m going in that first base, that there’s not going to be a beat missed.”