The status of the Red Sox’ lineup looked bleak when Stephen Drew strained a hamstring during last Friday’s game against the Blue Jays. There was no question that Jose Iglesias would take over in Drew’s spot at shortstop; however, the third base position looked shaky. Will Middlebrooks had just been optioned to Pawtucket earlier that week, Pedro Ciriaco had been DFA’d and then traded to the Padres, and the only third baseman that the Red Sox had on their 25-man roster was career journeyman Brandon Snyder.
As things have turned out, that’s all that the Red Sox have needed at third base. When Drew was injured, the Red Sox called up minor league veteran Jonathan Diaz just in case and he started last Saturday against the Blue Jays. Since then, Snyder has started every game at third base for the Red Sox and so far has been everything needed and more.
Not only has Snyder played solid defense at third base, he has provided some much-needed power and contributed several big hits in the past few days. In 16 plate appearances so far, Snyder has 4 hits and all but one of them has gone for extra bases. Snyder has a pair of doubles and a home run and has driven in 6 runs in his 4 starts.
When Drew is healthy again, Jonathan Diaz will be pushed to the minors and Snyder will be pushed to the bench. However, he still may contribute through spot starts and pinch-hit appearances. He has been in the role of a utility man before, and can provide depth at third base, first base, left field, right field, and even catcher in a pinch. Until the Red Sox are ready to give Will Middlebrooks the starting role again, Snyder will continue to provide a power-hitting bench bat for the next few weeks.