BOSTON (CBS) — After making a franchise-altering trade on Thursday morning, general manager Ben Cherington met the media in the afternoon and announced some big changes that will take place on the field.
Rookie Xander Bogaerts, who began the year at shortstop before moving to third base upon Stephen Drew’s arrival, will be moving back to his natural position at short. Newcomer Yoenis Cespedes, acquired Thursday in the Jon Lester trade, will be playing right field for the first time in his MLB career.
For Cespedes, the change makes sense, given that Shane Victorino is likely to continue missing time due to an injury, as well as the fact that Cespedes’ strong arm wouldn’t be maximized in the short left field of Fenway Park.
“We’ll probably take a look at him in right field and see sort of how he looks out there,” Cherington said Thursday evening. “He obviously can play center and left, too, but we’ll take an opportunity to see how that looks.”
The addition of Cespedes’ bat should help a Red Sox outfield that has struggled to generate any power this season.
“He’s a power bat who hits the ball out to all parts of the park, and he should benefit from Fenway,” Cherington said. “He’s going from a ballpark in Oakland that doesn’t help right-hand power hitters quite as much as Fenway does. We’re excited to have him. He’s someone that clearly we don’t have.”
As for Bogaerts, who has hit a number of ups but many more downs in his first full season in the bigs, Cherington still sees a potential star.
“In the long run, I don’t worry about Xander Bogaerts because he’s going to be good. He’s going through stuff, but he’s going to be good,” Cherington declared.
The general manager added that Bogaerts was showing defensive improvements at shortstop before the Drew signing, and “hopefully he’ll just pick right up where he left off.”
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