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Valencia appreciates chance for fresh start

Valencia appreciates chance for fresh start

Valencia appreciates chance for fresh start
CLEVELAND -- Danny Valencia knew things weren't going to work out for him in Minnesota. The once-promising third baseman prospect seemed to have fallen out of favor with the Twins, and he wasn't going to get many more opportunities.

"It was definitely a rough April," Valencia said. "I got off to a slow start, and they had guys come in and do a great job, and there really wasn't room for me."

The Red Sox acquired Valencia from the Twins last Sunday, and they called him up from Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday to take the spot of injured third baseman Will Middlebrooks. Valencia arrived at Progressive Field about 30 minutes before the start of Saturday night's game, and he entered as a defensive replacement at third base in the eighth inning.

Valencia was in the lineup at third, batting eighth, on Sunday afternoon.

"It [felt] nice because I wanted to get the early jitters out," Valencia said of playing Saturday. "I don't really know many people. Everybody's been really great. ... It's nice to be able to start over and have a clean slate, and try to help a team win that's right in the middle of things."

Valencia said he hasn't yet talked with manager Bobby Valentine about what his role will be with the Red Sox, but Valencia figures to get a substantial amount of playing time at third. The 27-year-old struggled with the Twins this season, hitting just .198 with two home runs and 17 RBIs in 34 games, but he's been a productive hitter in the past. Valencia had 15 homers and 72 RBIs in 154 games last season.

Whatever his role is, Valencia will be happy to have it. He's glad just to be part of a big league team.

"What happened to Will is unfortunate," Valencia said. "I feel bad for him. I just want to come in and help the team win, no matter what I can do, whether it be off then bench, starting, whatever it is. It's nice to just be able to get back with a team that's playing for the playoffs."

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