Early Innings: Grading the Red Sox outfield
May 27, 2014; Atlanta, GA, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (25) dives for a fly ball against the Atlanta Braves in the second inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Friday’s game against the Tampa Bays Rays was the 54th of the 2014 MLB season, which is exactly one-third of the way through the 162-game schedule. The campaign has had its share of highs, lows, and head-scratchers so far. The BSI team will look back on the first two months by evaluating the team’s performance, position-by-position.
Outfield Grade as a whole: C+
As a whole, the outfield hasn’t been the main source of the Red Sox’ problems, but it hasn’t been stellar either. It hasn’t helped that there has been a bit of a revolving door of players due to injuries. Perhaps as the season continues there will be more consistency in players and their performances.
Jackie Bradley, Jr. – He has played 50 error-free games in the outfield with four assists and two double plays. On the base paths he has stolen four bases and has not been caught stealing yet. Offensively he hasn’t been shockingly bad or shockingly good. He has a .206 average and .586 OPS. He’s hit no home runs and has 18 RBI. The good news for this 24 year-old lefty is that he is improving. Last season he only played 37 games in the majors and batted .189 so the experience is obviously benefiting him. Let’s hope the trend continues.
Jonny Gomes – He has two errors and one assist in 41 games. This season he’s batting .240 which is consistent with what he’s batted the last two seasons so it seems unlikely that will change much as the season progresses. He has five doubles and five home runs. He’s racked up 23 RBI with a OPS of .741. He shines with runners in scoring position, batting .316 and slugging .579.
Grady Sizemore – The lefty from Washington state, picked up by the Sox over the summer for peanuts, is currently batting just .225 with 14 RBI. He has three assists and one error. Considering that this is his first season playing since 2011, his defense hasn’t been too bad. Whether his offense will improve or not is the question.
Shane Victorino – Before landing on the DL, he was batting .242 with 10 RBI. He committed no errors in 21 games in the outfield, though he did have two errors while down in Pawtucket on a previous rehab assignment. Can the 32-year old righty stay healthy when he comes back from his current DL trip?
Daniel Nava – He was sent down to Pawtucket in April and called back up in May when Victorino went back on the DL. He’s currently sporting a .130 average in 22 major league games, but down in AAA he was batting .253 with 14 RBI. Can Nava prove that he deserves to be up at the big show?
Alex Hassan – When Ryan Lavarnway was put on the DL the Sox called up Hassan. Saturday could be the Quincy, MA native’s first big league game. In Pawtucket this season, he’s been batting .219 with 19 RBI. Adding Hassan gives the Sox some flexibility as he is able to be moved around.