BOSTON -- Adrian Gonzalez's temporary move to right field took another step on Saturday night, as he started there in Fenway Park for the first time.
The case can be made that Fenway is the most challenging right field in the game, when you combine the distance to straightaway right (380 feet) and the odd corner in front of Pesky's Pole (302 feet).
With the Red Sox depleted in the outfield, this gives manager Bobby Valentine a chance to still put out a formidable offense that has Gonzalez playing right, Will Middlebrooks starting at third and Kevin Youkilis playing first base.
"I think Adrian is as capable as anyone," said Valentine. "For sure, there could be some balls that go over into Pesky's corner there and go out into the triangle that can allude him. I think that part of the baseball field is the same as everyone else. There is that part of right field that is the same and he'll cover that area very well -- I think."
The more Valentine has spoken with Gonzalez, the more comfortable he feels playing him in right.
"I don't think there's injury risk, talking to him," Valentine said. "I think it's more dangerous at first base as far as injuries. I see more people getting hurt at first base than right field. As far as the competitive balance and the defense that he's going to provide, I think it's close to neutral."
If you want to know about some rag-tag outfields, Valentine has some stories from his years with the Texas Rangers.
"I played Pete Incaviglia in the outfield," said Valentine. "Some people referred to one outfield I had in Texas as the [second coming] of Catch-22, because that's what they did when 100 flyballs were hit to them."