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Red Sox Outfielder Mookie Betts Makes Fenway Park Debut

Highly-touted Boston Red Sox rookie outfielder Mookie Betts made his Fenway Park debut against the Chicago Cubs on June 30.

Jun 30 2014, 8:10pm CDT | by

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Red Sox Outfielder Mookie Betts Makes Fenway Park Debut
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Red Sox Outfielder Mookie Betts Makes Fenway Park Debut

Red Sox Outfielder Mookie Betts Makes Fenway Park Debut
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Highly-touted Boston Red Sox rookie outfielder Mookie Betts made his Fenway Park debut against the Chicago Cubs on June 30.'s Ian Brown and Stephen Petrella reports Betts was eighth in the batting order and played center field in that game: 

"The excitement continued for Mookie Betts on Monday night. 

"A day after making his Major League debut at Yankee Stadium, which included his first hit, Betts played his first home game for the Red Sox, batting eighth and playing center field against the Cubs. 

"'Going from Yankee Stadium where everybody is against you, to coming to Boston where everybody is with you, that's got to be a great feeling,' said Betts, who is ranked the club's No. 5 prospect. 

"Betts played right field in Sunday's game.  He will mainly play right and center, as Jackie Bradley, Jr. got a night off on Monday. 

"'As we mentioned, with him coming here, there's going to be a little rotation of guys through four positions,' said manager John Farrell. 'Mookie is in center field tonight. Jackie will be back out there,  likely, tomorrow. As part of the rotation, we're trying to get close to everyday at-bats -- particluarly for the young players that are on our roster.'

"The 21-year-old Betts exudes a quiet confidence. 

"'I'm not the savior of the team,' Betts said. 'I'm not going to say that I am. I'm just here to contribute and do my part.'

"What does he view as his strengths offensively?

"'I think just being able to put the ball in play,' Betts said. 'Make contact. Trying to keep my strikeout rate low and and my walk rate high. Trying to get base.'

"Though he might have been a little too aggressive on a dive for a triple into right field on Sunday night, Betts otherwise had a solid debut.

"'I thought he controlled his at-bats very well (Sunday) night,' said Farrell. 'Particularly the one at-bat where he walked, I thought he battled inside the at-bat, took a couple of close pitches, but I thought emotionally he was well under control, good bat speed. It's one game. He looked OK.'"

In another development, Brown and Petrella say Red Sox hitting coach Greg Colbrunn returned to the team on June 30 less than a month after he suffered a brain hemorrhage prior to a game against the Cleveland Indians: 

"Hitting coach Greg Colbrunn has rejoined the Red Sox less than a month after suffering a brain hemorrhage. He was hospitalized in Cleveland on June 4 after experiencing severe headaches and dizziness that morning before the Red Sox played the Indians. 

"The 44-year-old Colbrunn spent almost two weeks in a Cleveland hospital and about 10 days in Charleston, S.C., before returning to the club prior to Monday's game against the Cubs. Colbrunn didn't plan to stay for the duration of the contest and is still getting his endurance back, but manager John Farrell said he expects his hitting coach to rejoin the staff in full capacity at least in time for All-Star Week in Minnesota, which begins on July 14. 

"'It's great to have him back. Not from his role with us,  as good a job as he's done and continues to do, but just from a personal health standpoint,' Farrell said. 'To see him here today, to see how he's interacting with others, it's a great sign.'

"Colbrunn is still experiencing some fatigue, lack of focus and headaches as part of the rehab process, but otherwise he feels OK. According to doctors, Colbrunn said, being back with the Red Sox is an important part of his recovery. He'll take things day to day in terms of how much work he does and how much work he does and how much time he spends at the ballpark. 

"'Once you start feeling better, the quicker you get back to doing what you normally do, the quicker the recovery will be,' Colbrunn said. 'You're going to have repercussions -- headaches, mental fatigue, a little lethargic certain days. But the quicker you can get back into your normal life, the better you'll be.'"

For more of the hottest sports news, log on to Sport Balla today. 



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Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.




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