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Kevin Youkilis is preparing for third base

Nov 2, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

Kevin Youkilis

The Red Sox have a tricky offseason ahead of them. They have to figure out if they can bring Adiran Beltre back, and if not, what to do about third base. Or maybe first base, because Kevin Youkilis is being a team player and is talking like he’s ready and eager to take over the hot corner:

“I’m preparing myself to play third base because if you prepare yourself to play third base and you play first, it’s an easy transition. So, for me, I try and prepare myself mentally to play third. I’ll probably take a little more ground balls this year, but hopefully we’ll find out sooner than later . . . I love third base. I love playing it, I enjoy it. It’s a lot of fun. I would love to play third base, but wherever the team needs me I’ll play.”

If he is capable of handling third base — and my guess is that he would be at least acceptable over there — it makes the Red Sox way more flexible as they try to fill holes. Maybe you go with Beltre, but maybe not. Maybe you go after a portly, second-generation major league slugger who plays first base instead. There are simply more options out there with Youkilis at third, even if, long term, he’s better off at first. After all, worst case scenario: either Youkilis or whatever masher comes in moves to DH next year or whenever it is the Red Sox get tired of David Ortiz.

  1. BC - Nov 2, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    I don’t have the fielding stats in front of me, but Youkilis seemed like an above-average fielding third baseman. Nabbing Fielder for 1B would be great. Or, try to sign Carlos Pena on the cheap – excellent fielding 1B and power hitter. You gotta figure with a full season of Pedroia and Ellsbury next year, Boston would be able to absorb Pena’s .220 batting average in exchange for his glove and power hitting.

  2. Jonny 5 - Nov 2, 2010 at 2:52 PM

    I don’t know man…… He can probably get by at 3rd, but to really play 3rd? He may have to be replaced defensively late in games and Youk is the last guy Bahhhstan wants to take out late in a close game.

  3. mcsnide - Nov 2, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    Youk was solid at third, slightly above average. That said, he’s put on a few pounds since then, and hasn’t looked that great the few times he’s played 3rd since moving. Just as long as they don’t try playing him in left…

  4. babynewfpuppy - Nov 2, 2010 at 9:30 PM

    He was better than average at third. In the minors he was considered a great third base men. He will not have to replaced late in games . You 3 have no idea about baseball at all and it shows

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