Boston Red Sox: Moving forward for 2017
Catcher and Designated Hitter
You think the Grand Canyon is a gaping hole? Well, binky, that is nothing compared to the hole left in the batting order by the departure of David Ortiz. The Red Sox have just watched 127 RBI and 38 home runs go into a well-deserved retirement and that kind of statistics can be irreplaceable or maybe not?
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A fortuitous turn of baseball events has offered up three potential replacements for the departed Papi. And in each case, the replacement would weaken a division opponent. Now – about those 127 RBI? That happened to be the total by Edwin Encarnacion managed for the Toronto Blue Jays. Encarnacion was mentioned by Ortiz as a possible replacement and as a free agent, the welcome mat and bat are out.
Jose Bautista is also on the Jays roster and also a free agent. Like fellow right-hand slugger, Encarnacion old Joey Bats simply adores Fenway Park. Bautista is a free agent and a year older than Encarnacion, but, like Edwin, can play in the field with minimal embarrassment. However, that field is right and Mr. Betts occupies that position.
Lastly is the major league’s leading home run hitter – Mark Trumbo of the Orioles and another right-hand power bat. Trumbo certainly does not have the credentials of the Blue Jay pair, but may be a cheaper and shorter term option.
Sandy Leon is the incumbent catcher. Leon had a hitting streak that was noteworthy where hits were rattling over the various ballparks. An above average receiver who suddenly hit and hit with power. Will it last?
September was not kind to Leon as his average plummeted thanks to a more Leon like .213. That certainly is of concerns as his backup – Christian Vazquez – also uses the stick for decorative purposes. The fact is, both are gifted defensively so the Sox can carry a bit of offensive dead weight if Leon goes back to his old ways.
Both Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday will have to find employment elsewhere.
Danger afoot: The backstops can’t hit.
Prediction: Welcome to Boston – Mr. Encarnacion! Vaz starts by June.