Tito considers playing Gonzalez in OF

June, 20, 2011
6/20/11
5:16
PM ET
BOSTON -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Monday that he had approached first baseman Adrian Gonzalez about playing the outfield a couple of times during the team's upcoming nine-game trip to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Houston. With Gonzalez in the outfield, Francona would have the option of playing David Ortiz at first base.

Teams cannot use a designated hitter in interleague play at National League parks.

"We actually talked to him about that a little bit,'' Francona said. "I guess the best answer I can give you is we'll see. I'm glad he's willing to do it. I think it's admirable. I don't want David to sit nine straight games. That bothers me. I guess the best thing I can tell you is we'll see. Maybe a couple times, just to kind of get David where he doesn't go 10 days without playing, because that worries me.

"And Gonzie I know has done it in winter ball. And there are a few right fields on this trip that aren't huge, so we'll see. That's the best way I can say it. It's got to work though, you know, where I don't want to outsmart myself. We'll see.''

Gonzalez confirmed he was open to the possibility.

"I wouldn't say it's willingness, but the fact that I've done it before,'' he said. "If I was approached on it, and Tito wanted to do it for a couple of games, I'd be OK with it. I'm not an outfielder, and I wasn't an outfielder, but if it meant getting Papi in the
game and get him a few more games, it's definitely something I would do.''

Gonzalez played right field in winter ball, and in one game while with the Texas Rangers.

Asked if he had any concerns about injury playing out of position, Gonzalez said no. "Do whatever's needed for the team,'' he said.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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