Hanley will go to first when he returns
BOSTON -- When Hanley Ramirez returns from his most recent injury (sore right shoulder), he will report directly to first base, interim manager Torey Lovullo said Tuesday.
The experiment of moving Ramirez to left field appears to be officially over, as Lovullo said he won't play out there again in 2015.
The Red Sox will use the three outfield spots to mix and match the trio of Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Rusney Castillo.
In particular, Betts will get some more work in the corners, and Castillo will try to get acclimated to left. Bradley is already comfortable playing all three spots. The Red Sox are trying to gauge how the trio best fits together in 2016 and beyond.
"I was able to sit down with the three outfielders and explain to them we are going to mix and match those moving parts, and until that time where we put them in a game, they need to get out there with [outfield instructor] Arnie [Beyeler] and get some work done.
"We're going to wait for the go sign from Arnie, when he feels comfortable that these guys can be moved in a game situation to different positions. We're going to explore that. We haven't yet clearly defined who's playing where."
After the Red Sox see how the experimentation plays out, they will solidify the alignment and define which position each outfielder will play going forward.
"Once we make that decision, we're going to leave those guys there," Lovullo said. "We're not going to mix and match for their entire career. We're going to try to piece together the best outfield for the Boston Red Sox in 2016."
Ramirez underwent more tests from the doctors on Monday, and it was recommended he continue strengthening his shoulder before returning to game action.
"He's able to take ground balls, do what he has to do with this position change. He's in a good place," said Lovullo. "He's with Brian Butterfield, who's a really good infield instructor. He converted Mike Napoli from a catcher to a pretty darn good first baseman. We're getting some positive feedback from Butter that things are moving in a positive direction. We just want to get his body healthy before we really progress and get aggressive with him."