LOS ANGELES – While the Red Sox wait to see whether J.D. Martinez can start Game 3 of the World Series, this much is true: Don’t take any bets on Boston shifting a star outfielder to the infield.
“Mookie Betts at second? No, he’s not playing second base. Well, he’s not starting at second base,” manager Alex Cora said Thursday.
The Red Sox lead 2-0, and there’s been a lot of speculation about what they will do Friday night when the designated hitter spot is dropped at Dodger Stadium.
Martinez is Boston’s main DH and led the majors with 130 RBIs. He drove in two runs in each of the two wins at Fenway Park, and is 3 for 7 in the Series.
Martinez rolled his right ankle on a double in the opener. He stayed in and, playing while sore, delivered a key hit Wednesday night.
After that win, Martinez said he planned on playing in Game 3. He started 57 times in the outfield this season, splitting time in left field and right field.
The Red Sox traveled to Los Angeles on Thursday and Cora was at the ballpark, where he was asked about Martinez.
“We’ll see. Actually, he felt better today walking around, he got treatment on the way here. He’s going to get treatment tomorrow. He’ll get treatment tomorrow morning. In the afternoon, we’ll make a decision,” Cora said.
“It looked bad early in the game, but then it seemed like it was moving better towards the end. We’ll make a decision whenever – he’ll let us know,” Cora said.
If Martinez plays the outfield, then either Betts, center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. or left fielder Andrew Benintendi would lose their spot.
Bradley was the MVP of the AL Championship Series and is a stellar defender. Benintendi got four hits against the Dodgers in the opener and made a stellar grab in front of the Green Monster in Game 2.
There was talk Betts, a top candidate for AL MVP this year, could play second base. That would allow Martinez, Benintendi and Bradley to all stay in the lineup.
Betts made 14 starts at second as a rookie in 2014. He played there once this year, filling in for six innings at the spot in August after Ian Kinsler was hurt.
Kinsler started at second base in the first two games versus the Dodgers.
It was mentioned to Cora that a lot of people were wondering what lineup the Red Sox would employ.
“Me, too, man,” he said.
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