Aviles to bat leadoff


BOSTON -- Mike Aviles arrived at Fenway Park today to see his name slotted in at the leadoff spot in the Boston Red Sox batting order.

The shortstop will take the spot of Jacoby Ellsbury, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Saturday after an MRI revealed a subluxed right shoulder suffered in Friday's win over the Tampa Bay Rays, in the order.

Helping as a leadoff hitter, Mike's a dangerous hitter where if a pitcher gets careless, he could do damage, manager Bobby Valentine said prior to Saturdays game. I think he's developing into an offensive player, really concentrating on his defense right now. I've seen him where if he gets that pitch, and possibly as a leadoff hitter, thinking with the guys who are coming up next, I don't know, we'll see if he gets that pitch. And then he'll be a good lead off hitter if he does.

Aviles (.227BA, 4R, 5H, 0 HR, 3RBI this season), who has had experience at the leadoff spot over his career, says the key to success is being aggressive at the right time.

I feel like for me, personally, I feel better if I'm aggressive and in the zone, he said. Once I get aggressive out of the zone, I'm not helping myself, I'm not helping the team and that's when I really want to beat myself up, honestly.

It is uncertain how long Aviles will stay in the leadoff spot. But as the Red Sox make adjustments during Ellsburys injury, one thing is for sure.

We'll always have a lead-off hitter, every single day, said Valentine. I guarantee it.

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