Francona looking for versatility from Aviles

Francona looking for versatility from Aviles

BOSTON -- Manager Terry Francona has said that he'd like to see if the recently acquired Mike Aviles can offer some depth off the bench in the outfield as well as the infield, and Aviles has started to practice there.

"He went out there yesterday, and he gave me a good answer," Francona said on Wednesday. "I asked him how he felt about it, and he looked at me and said, 'The one thing you need to know about me is, I'm arrogant and confident.' I said, 'That means you can go the outfield?' He said, 'Yeah,' which I thought was a good answer."

The versatility of Drew Sutton, who is back at Triple-A Pawtucket, gave the Red Sox the option of playing him in either the infield or outfield, and the team wouldn't mind replicating that.

"It almost gives us a guy where you can go short [on the bench] and it doesn't hurt you," Francona said. "I'd like to get him out there at some point. One thing I don't want to ever do is embarrass somebody. ... When we sent [Kevin Youkilis] out there and the guy was willing to do it and then the guy makes an error, I feel like I messed up. So if he's comfortable enough, we'll probably do it here at some point."

The Red Sox traded for the 30-year-old Aviles on Saturday, sending Yamaico Navarro to the Royals. Aviles went 1-for-4 in his first start for the Red Sox in Tuesday's 3-2 win over the Indians, playing shortstop.