ST. PETERSBURG -- Wednesday marked the fourth straight game that Mike Aviles was not in the Red Sox's starting lineup.
It is not a reflection on Aviles, who pretty much did what the team asked as the everyday shortstop for most of the season, but the Red Sox are trying to get as many looks as they can at Jose Iglesias.
"It's pretty hard," said manager Bobby Valentine. "Mike really wants to play. I understand that totally. And Iggy has just gotten on a little roll here, so I'd like to just see how the role could continue. It's tough though -- really tough."
What about playing Aviles at third base, the position he started at regularly for the Red Sox last September?
"I'm not sure that's fair to him. He hasn't taken a ground ball there all year," Valentine said. "I did put him at second though a couple of days, a couple of innings. That's why I didn't mind DH-ing him, just to let him get his at-bats. You start putting a guy in a position he hasn't played in all year and that's tough."