March 27, 2012 by staff
Spring Training, Another question has been answered at Fenway South: Mike Aviles will be the starting shortstop for the Boston Red Sox in 2012.
Boston ended any discussion of a possible position controversy and quieted the rumors of a split between manager Bobby Valentine and general manager Ben Cherington over who should be the teams starting shortstop by assigning Jose Iglesias to minor-league camp before the team’s 8-0 win Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“I’m happy because I knew deep down I could play short,” Aviles said. “It’s just a matter of getting an opportunity. I’m just fortunate to get the opportunity and I’m going to try to help the team win.”
“We have discussions every day on our team a couple times,” Valentine said. “With Jose there was never a debate. I never knew what side (Cherington) was taking and I don’t know if he ever knew what side, if that is what it was, that I was taking. We spoke of both players and every day we evaluated them – not only me and Ben but the entire staff. In the staff meeting last night, I think it was a pretty universal – I don’t want to say 100 percent – but it was a group decision. Everyone was on the same page.”
Aviles, who was acquired from the Kansas City Royals in July, went 0-for-3 on Tuesday but is still sporting a .313 average this spring. Aviles (.314 average in 107 plate appearance for Boston in 2011) became the frontrunner for the shortstop job despite being used primarily at third and second the past two years after incumbent Marco Scutaro was traded to the Colorado Rockies for pitcher Clayton Mortenson in January.
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