Shortstop Mike Aviles played all nine innings in the Red Sox' 3-3 tie with the Blue Jays Wednesday afternoon, notching a double to leadoff the game while making a key relay throw to gun down the potential go-ahead run at third in the seventh inning.
Aviles, who is in competition to earn the Red Sox' starting shortstop job, said he hadn't played nine innings at the position in March since his participation in the 2009 World Baseball Classic as a member of Team Puerto Rico.
"Out of all the positions, the one that feels the easiest for things to come back naturally has been short for me," he said. "It's one position I feel like I can take the least amount of reps and get the most comfortable quicker. Third, second or even the outfield, I feel like I have to take more reps to feel comfortable, whereas at short I can take a couple days of ground balls and feel right at home. I'm starting to feel more comfortable playing the game, pretty much."
The Red Sox totaled seven hits, one of which came off Blue Jays starter Brandon Morrow, with Aviles' double serving as the only extra-base hit for the visitors.
Even though everyone at Ted's Army fully endorses our favorite prospect Jose Iglesias, Aviles isn't a terrible option either. Coming from Kansas City in the middle of the year had to be a tough (but welcomed) adjustment as Kansas City hasn't been a contender since George Brett retired. The defense will be an issue as he is primarily a third basemen but if he can pick up where Marco Scutaro left off offensively, it will make this offense even better.
But all things change if Iglesias can start hitting in the .280-.290 range. Considering where he is now that's the equivalent of asking David Ortiz to play some Gold Glove-caliber defense at first. Hey anything can happen..right?
Rest of the Links: Globe: For Cody Ross, the Sox character counts | Red Sox tie Toronto | Herald: Lester works morning shift | Aviles throws glove into the ring | Bryce Brentz impresses | CSNNE:A full day’s work |Valentine impressed with Brentz |Fenway placed on National Register of Historic Places| WEEI: Unconventional world of pitching coach Bob McClure | Brentz shows his muscle | Aviles plays nine, Sox tie Jays