The championship season of 2013 came almost in spite of the hodgepodge of left fielders that the Red Sox cycled through. Jonny Gomes was a much needed breath of fresh air in the clubhouse to help cure the toxic chemistry that had spoiled the previous two seasons, but on the field he was little more than a defensively challenged platoon bat.
He split time in left with Nava and Mike Carp, both of whom performed admirably in limited roles but couldn’t be counted on regularly. The collaborative effort of those that spent time in left for the Red Sox that season amounted to a .278 average, .790 OPS and 18 home runs. That’s decent production when you pool them all together, but it left the team with a mashup of contributors that relied on Farrell to push the right buttons in order to put each of them in the best position to thrive. How long could they really count on that to continue?
Apparently not long, as 2014 turned into a bigger mess in left field. The Red Sox attempted to revive the career of former All-Star Grady Sizemore, but he predictably couldn’t stay healthy and was soon released. Gomes and Carp both regressed significantly from their magical runs the previous year and Nava spent the bulk of his playing time in right field.
Next: Trade for Cespedes