Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Boston Red Sox have been relatively quiet bolstering their infield depth this offseason, which seems odd considering how they have fortified every other facet of their team. Right now, Jonathan Herrera, who they acquired from Colorado this offseason, is set to be the backup third basemen, shortstop, and second basemen for the Red Sox. His versatility is an asset, but his offensive value is nil, and that has caused some concern. Especially because starting third basemen Will Middlebrooks has been very inconsistent in his tenure with the Red Sox. He lacks plate discipline and struggles on the defensive side of the ball, and that may resonate into an issue for the Red Sox to continuously pencil him in the lineup. So, they have been looking at options, and now they might just have a solution.
Mike Carp had a career year in his first season in Boston, hitting for an explosive .296/.362/.523 slash. The offensive surge was somewhat of surprise, but it makes some sense considering he transitioned from spacious SAFECO Park to the hitter-friendly confines of Fenway Park. Finding ways to consistently get him some at bats, was a challenge. Mike Napoli manned first base, Victorino in right, and Gomes and Nava platooning in left. He did get his fair share of at bats, though, plugging in for Victorino or Ellsbury when they were out due to injury.
Carp’s lackluster defense may be a cause for concern, especially plugging him at the hot corner. He does not have good range or speed to play that position well. However, if his offense is 80% of what it was in 2013, then his value may plateau that of Will Middlebrooks. Either way, this could be a nice safety net if Middlebrooks struggles in 2014, and Farrell could feel confident putting Carp’s bat in the lineup on an everyday basis.