Boston Red Sox left field carousel
The seldom used Mike Carp got the start in left to open the 2014 season, but would share the role with several others, including Gomes. That is until the trade deadline, when Gomes was part of a package headlined by Jon Lester that brought Yoenis Cespedes to Boston to be the new left fielder. While the Cuban outfielder was selected to the All-Star team for his production with the Oakland Athletics in the first half to the season, the Red Sox weren’t impressed with what they saw after bringing him to Boston. He was supposed to be the power threat they were seeking, but Cespedes hit a mere 5 home runs following the trade and the team was less than enthused by his disappointing on-base percentage and head-scratching defensive decisions.
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Boston let Cespedes depart in free agency and replaced him with Hanley Ramirez, who was signed for his bat without any regard to where they would put him on the field. The experiment of converting him to left field failed miserably, forcing the Red Sox to move him back to the infield, where he will now attempt to learn how to play first base on the fly.
That brings us to 2016, where the Red Sox began the season with Brock Holt in left field. As the team’s lone representative at last year’s All-Star Game, Holt is certainly deserving of an everyday role, but locking him into one position deprives him of the versatility that has always been his greatest asset.
The plan is to use Holt as the primary left fielder against right-handed pitching, with Chris Young serving as the other half of a platoon against lefties. Rusney Castillo will also rotate through the position to allow Holt to fill in as an infielder when needed. That still leaves the Red Sox without an everyday left fielder. While the platoon option is the best choice based on the current construct of the roster, it’s not ideal in the long run.
Next: Will the answer come in free agency?