How to deal with the Red Sox’ first base vacancy
Jun 28, 2015; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox first basemanMike Napoli
(12) reacts after being ejected from the game during the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
First base has been an obvious weak point for the Red Sox this season. In the final season of his contract with the Red Sox, Mike Napoli has given the Red Sox below replacement level production, slashing .192/.294/.358 with worse defense than we’re accustomed to seeing from the converted catcher. Given that first base is a high-offense position, with the average first baseman hitting .256/.331/.438, the Red Sox will need to improve on that black hole in their lineup if contention is in order this season.
The only question is how the Red Sox will improve offense at first base, and that might be easier said than done. But oh well, we’ll say it anyways, so let’s start listing Boston’s options on the next slide.