Lost in what’s been a daily soap opera in Boston with the local and national media calling for Bobby Valentine’s head and players supposedly has been the job that super utilityman Pedro Ciriaco has done while filling in at multiple positions in the infield and even the thought of getting him some reps in the outfield, preferably in front of the Green Monster.
The one-time Arizona prospect, who was signed as a 17-year-old out of the Dominican Republic, was great with the glove and had speed but just couldn’t hit. The D-Backs dealt him to Pittsburgh and even there he couldn’t crack into their lineup despite six trips between Triple-A and the majors last season.
Out of options, he became a free agent during this past offseason.
The 26-year-old has now found a home in Boston but more importantly has become a favorite of Valentine’s, especially with the way he’s performed in big pressure games against the New York Yankees
“Doesn’t surprised me. It amazes me that he is who he is with that kind of talent and hasn’t been utilized before.”
Ciriaco filled in admirably while second baseman Dustin Pedroia was out earlier this season, found himself playing short for Mike Aviles, who was also nursing an injury and he’s even played three games in the outfield. With third baseman Will Middlebrooks out for the season with a wrist injury, Ciriaco will be spending time at the hot corner.
Coming to the ballpark and not knowing if you will have to use your different gloves for shortstop, second, third and now the outfield can be unsettling but Ciriaco said he’s welcomed the challenge and prepared himself as he was shuffled around and each and every day learn the little things about each position during the last couple of years in with the Pirates minor league system.
So what’s been the difference for Ciriaco who scuffled in the minors last, hitting just .233?
“I’ve tried to play my game and have a good time out on the field and not place to much pressure on myself,” Ciriaco told FoxDeportes.com before he went out and had another four-hit game against the Bronx Bombers.
Ciriaco has owned the Yanks, hitting 15-for-32 (.469) against them while owning a .333 average with one homer and 12 RBIs in 36 games but has credited the embattled Red Sox skipper for the chance he’s gotten.
“I’m very happy that he’s given me the opportunity to be here. I’ve tried to do the right things to help the team,” Ciriaco said.
Will 40 games to go, it’s an uphill battle to make it to the playoffs. They can very well forget the division. They’re seven games out of the top Wild Card spots owned by Tampa Bay and Baltimore and Oakland, Detroit and Los Angeles, who they will meet six times over the next 13 days.
Still Ciriaco maintains some form of optimism.
The big question in the New England area and today in sports talk radio up there is whether Boston lets Valentine go or if he deserves another chance.
“Of course he does,” Ciriaco said.
Contrary to reports that have come out of Beantown, not everyone wants him out.