BOSTON -- When the Red Sox depart for a nine-game, National League city road trip later this week in which they lose the designated hitter, Adrian Gonzalez might have just enough versatility to create some playing time for David Ortiz.
Gonzalez played one Major League game in the outfield -- starting in right field for the Texas Rangers in 2005. He also played a season of winter ball in right.
If Gonzalez could give the Red Sox some spot starts in the outfield during the trip through Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Houston, it could open up some time for Papi to start at first base.
Gonzalez and Ortiz have been Boston's two most productive hitters this season. Carl Crawford is currently on the disabled list, so the fit of Gonzalez playing the outfield on the upcoming trip would be at least a little better than normal.
"I wouldn't say it was willingness; it's the fact that I've done it before," Gonzalez said. "If I was approached on it, if Tito wanted to do that for a couple of games, I'd be OK with it. I know I'm not an outfielder, but if it meant [a chance] to get Papi in the game, it's definitely something I would do."
Would manager Terry Francona do it?
"I guess the best thing I could tell you is we'll see," Francona said. "Maybe a couple of times just to kind of get David where he doesn't go 10 days without playing, because that worries me. And Gonzi, I know [he] did it [before]. I know he's done it in winter ball, and there's a few right field's on this trip that aren't huge. We'll see."
While the Red Sox would obviously be a better offensive team with Gonzalez and Ortiz in the lineup, Francona knows that alignment would also weaken the team at two spots defensively.
"It's got to work though," Francona said. "I don't want to outsmart myself. We'll see."
Padres manager Bud Black was in the other dugout -- as pitching coach for the Angels -- when Gonzalez made his only career start in the outfield.
"I've seen it live," Black said. "I saw it when he was with Texas and I was in Anaheim. He's a good athlete. He's got good hand-eye coordination. You've seen him catch fly balls here. He's got good hands. Could I imagine it? Yeah. Would he have the range of Carl Crawford? No."
Lowrie headed west to get second opinion
BOSTON -- Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie will head to Southern California on Tuesday to get his ailing left shoulder examined by Dr. Lewis Yocum.
Lowrie's appointment with Yocum is scheduled for Wednesday.
"He'll have the pictures and he'll see him in person, which I think we feel like, there's no reason for him not to go," manager Terry Francona said. "He's not playing anyway. Let's have him examined in person, and that will be good."
Lowrie is on the 15-day disabled list with what the club has diagnosed as a left shoulder strain. The injury occurred on May 29 in Detroit, when Lowrie collided with teammate Carl Crawford.
"I'd just love for him to say, 'It's just normal from the collision. Just a little time and rehab and you'll be back to 100 percent,'" said Lowrie.
While he hasn't played since last Thursday, Lowrie said of the injury "hasn't gotten worse" and is "still about the same."
Whether it was left wrist woes that lingered for two seasons or the severe case of mononucleosis he went through early last season, Lowrie has spent more time than he'd like off the active roster.
But he isn't getting down.
"I know what I'm capable of as a player and I know that we're going to figure out what's going on and I'm going to get back on the field and know what I'm capable of doing," Lowrie said.
Jenks has 'best day' since going on DL
BOSTON -- If Monday was any indication, right-hander Bobby Jenks has started to turn a corner in his recovery from left back tightness that has had him on the disabled list since June 8.
"Bobby actually had a real good day," said manager Terry Francona. "He threw out to 200 feet, then threw some flat ground. If he shows up tomorrow with no ill effects from that, he might even take it to the mound a little bit -- not a full fledged side [session], but just kind of getting back on that downhill plain. But he had a really good day -- his best day by far."
Jenks is eligible to be activated on Wednesday, but he won't be back that soon. He will need at least multiple side sessions before returning to action.
It is conceivable Jenks will return at some point during the upcoming nine-game road trip, which opens Friday in Pittsburgh.
Roberts reminisces fondly on 2004 squad
BOSTON -- Dave Roberts was back in Boston on Monday, cancer-free, but once again reminded that his signature moment in a Red Sox uniform came almost seven years ago.
"God, I'm old," said Roberts, 39, and now the first-base coach for the Padres.
Again being reminded of his claim to fame during the 2004 playoffs that propelled the Red Sox to their first World Series championship in 86 years, Roberts said he loves coming back to Boston.
"From playing the big leagues and winning the World Series here, and then you get diagnosed with cancer, it's kind of a big blow to you and your family," said Roberts, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma last March. "But finishing treatment, getting clear scans today actually at Dana-Farber [Cancer Institute], that was a big day for me. I'm pretty happy to be here, and just taking every day."
While Roberts spent all of 45 games in a Boston uniform, his steal of second base in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the American League Championship Series kept the Red Sox from being swept by the Yankees, and perhaps manager Terry Francona from losing his job.
"If it wasn't for Dave, you'd be talking to somebody else," Francona said before Monday's game.
"You know what? We had a special group," Roberts said. "People always talk about the '04 team and what it meant to the people in New England and Boston. The group, we're still tight, all of us are still tight. We still reminisce about '04 and the group we had."
-- Jason Mastrodonato
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Jason Mastrodonato is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.