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."
Ciriaco to get another look in outfield
ST. PETERSBURG -- How can Pedro Ciriaco be even more valuable than he already is to the Red Sox going forward? By getting more comfortable in the outfield.
Ciriaco will make his second career start in the outfield on Thursday.
Valentine admits that it's not all that fair to Ciriaco to ask him to learn the outfield on the fly.
"It's more like a winter time, Spring Training project if he's going to be an all-purpose guy or something like that," Valentine said, "but he's there to play there if we need him. That's one of the things that [general manager] Ben [Cherington] and I discussed."
Bogar interviews with Astros, will let process play out
ST. PETERSBURG -- Red Sox bench coach Tim Bogar has a goal of becoming a Major League manager, and he took a key step on Wednesday, interviewing with the Houston Astros.
The interview took place in the Tampa area and lasted two and a half hours, according to Bogar.
Other than that, Bogar didn't want to say a whole lot.
"I really have nothing to say about it, to be honest with you," said Bogar. "I'm going to respect the process. All I can say is it went pretty well. It was good."