CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – His name seems to come up for just about every spot on the team.
Backup shortstop. Backup second basemen. Backup outfielder. Possible DH.
Mike Aviles is more than use to not exactly having a defined role on any team he’s on, and it appears that will be the case in Cleveland with his new team, the Indians.
“I’m gonna play everywhere, that’s what I have been told, I’ll play everywhere,” Aviles said prior to TribeFest at Progressive Field Saturday.
“I’m going to get in there as much as possible, and that’s good enough for me. I’m excited, I just wanna be around and get after it again.”
Aviles could be the ultimate utility man for the Indians, this despite the fact he played 128 of 136 games last season at shortstop for the Red Sox.
He’s also bee in the lineup the past few seasons at just about every other position. Second, third, short, left field, right field and DH.
Aviles admitted he was excited to come back and play again for Terry Francona, who he played under in 2011 in Boston.
Francona will have a big stamp on this team, and Aviles says he will be able to help with the young players on the roster.
“I think he’s going to be great with the younger guys,” Aviles said. “Sometimes when your in the big leagues things don’t go your way, you put a lot of pressure on yourself, and he’s the type of manager that takes that pressure off of you.”
The Indians hope that Aviles can produce in all his roles and hit like he did last season with the Red Sox. He batted .250 with 13 homers, 60 RBI and 14 steals.
Francona has mentioned Aviles a lot, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him in the lineup 4-5 days a week in some type of role.
As far as getting ready? Aviles seems like a kid in a candy store as he and the Indians get ready for Goodyear and spring training in just a few weeks.
“I’m over this offseason already, when it comes to that January point, you know it’s coming,” Aviles said. “You have New Years, and that’s it, let’s start playing baseball, like I am ready, let’s get going.”