PHILADELPHIA -- It was not the plan, Bobby Valentine said Sunday, to utilize Adrian Gonzalez in right field and David Ortiz at first base again in the series finale against the Phillies, even though it worked well the night before, with Gonzalez making two good catches and Ortiz hitting a home run.
The Red Sox manager acknowledged that he’s ill at ease about the consequences of both playing out of their normal milieu.
“I’m not comfortable with it,’’ Valentine said. “I’m comfortable in their ability, just the idea of the lack of familiarity. I don’t want that one thing, that one out-of-the-box thing, to happen.’’
But with outfielder Ryan Sweeney feeling the after-effects of his diving catch Saturday -- he was tested for a concussion after the game -- and Cody Ross still needing time for his sore left foot to heal, Valentine’s options were limited.
Sweeney and Ross both said after Sunday's game they hoped to play Monday in Baltimore.
“It wasn’t necessarily the plan going in,’’ he said. “I guess I could have played [Nick] Punto at short and Mike [Aviles] in the outfield.’’
Responding to a question, Valentine said he appreciated Gonzalez’s willingness to play the outfield.
“I appreciate it a thousand percent,’’ he said. “David putting a glove on, too, to play first base. Neither of them signed up for that, obviously, and I appreciate it.
“Adrian is always in the game. He’s thinking of anything and everything he can do, we can do, to be as good as we could be. His attitude is really appreciated. Not very many guys willing or able to [play out of position]. He seems to be both.’’
Sweeney had some difficulty Saturday night with some of the concussion tests, Valentine said, but the outfielder said he was better Sunday.
"I'm all right. Mild concussion. I'm going to try to play tomorrow,'' Sweeney said.
On trying to pass the concussion test, Sweeney said, "It's tough. I did better today on it though.''
“He said he couldn’t pass [it] before he dove for the ball,’’ Valentine said. “I guess they ask you to do things, recite the months of the year backward. That’s a tough one, things like that. He didn’t do that well last night.
“He said he felt much better today. He’s in the training room for a whiplash situation in his neck, which I don’t think would prevent him from playing some. I’m cautious with the concussion situation.’’
The Red Sox already have five outfielders on the disabled list, but Valentine said he does not expect that Ross will be added to the list. Ross fouled a ball off the top of his left foot Friday night and has not been in the lineup since, but Valentine said he believed the outfielder was "a day, maybe two” away from returning.