Recap & Reaction: Quotes from Red Sox Manager John Farrell
Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell recently spoke with the media, providing insight on how he views the current roster and potential competitions within camp.
Boston Red Sox Manager, John Farrell, recently met with the media and spoke with WEEI. In the interviews, he provided a lot of insight on how he views the current roster and potential competitions within camp. The following is a list of his four most consequential quotes, with my analysis of its effect on Spring Training and the Regular Season:
"“And I say no because of what Brock has meant not only to this team but his overall performance,” Farrell said. “I think what you’re seeing around the game is this type of player becoming that much more valuable. They’re not a backup or a bench player. He’s a regular utility guy who gets rotated in, and you see 350 to 400 at-bats.”"
This is an interesting one. Brock Holt started 129 games last season and finished with 454 at-bats, but 49 of his starts came at second base, 24 at third and 30 across the outfield, and circumstances at those positions have since changed.
At second, Dustin Pedroia was injured most of last season, but has entered the Spring healthy. At third, Pablo Sandoval dealt with injuries last season and Holt was his only true back-up at the position, but this season, Sandoval is healthy and new bench phenomena Travis Shaw will likely receive some starts there as well. As for the outfield, Mookie Betts was the only consistent presence in 2015, which gave Holt his 30 starts, but those starts went away once Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Rusney Castillo were added to the Red Sox starting lineup last August. With Betts, Bradley and Castillo opening up this season as the starters, that trend will likely continue. Moreover, as oppose to last year, the Red Sox have a competent fourth outfielder in Chris Young, which will surely make it more difficult to find Holt starts at CF, RF or LF.
So, how does Farrell hope to achieve his planned number of at-bats for Holt, which will take approximately 95-105 starts? Well, he is going to be the primary backup to Xander Bogaerts at shortstop and Pedroia at second. He will also get starts at third base and in the outfield, albeit less than last season.
At second, coming off an injury-plagued season and being a year older as well, the Red Sox are probably looking to get 140 starts from Pedroia. At shortstop, expect 145-150 starts from Xander. Combined, figure a total of 40 starts for Holt at second and short. Where do the other 55-60 starts come from? Honestly, I do not know. Even if he were to get a total of 30 starts at third and the outfield, he is still only at 70 starts. My assumption is that John Farrell’s assumption is there will be injuries and that Holt will be relied upon when that happens, which is fair, but what if he is wrong? Is it better for the Red Sox that Holt gets 350-400 at-bats? That is something Bosox Injection’s Brandon Nickel recently examined.
Next: Switch-hitting Sandoval