Boston Red Sox: Moving forward for 2017

Sep 24, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski (left) introduces Mike Hazen (right) as the team
Sep 24, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski (left) introduces Mike Hazen (right) as the team /
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Jun 7, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox second baseman Marco Hernandez (41) celebrates with teammates in the dugout after scoring against the San Francisco Giants in the tenth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 7, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; Boston Red Sox second baseman Marco Hernandez (41) celebrates with teammates in the dugout after scoring against the San Francisco Giants in the tenth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports /

The Bench

Marco Hernandez can hit and will certainly have a strong influence on the 2017 roster – especially if Holt is traded. Swihart could be the bat off the bench and can play left and provide additional caching support. Swihart may see some first base time, can switch hit and could be a long – very long – shot for third base.

Josh Rutledge plays the smart game one would expect of a borderline MLB player. Rutledge has his positive moments hitting and can play all infield positions. Holt remains Mr. Versatility and may be more valuable playing 120+ games somewhere than taking up bench space.

Young showed he can be a valuable asset, especially against left-handed pitching. Young is a capable defender who still has some decent speed. A dependable power option. Shaw may see duty in left, third and first. Shaw’s hitting slumped and his glove work is average, if he’s not traded or playing third Shaw could be the significant bat off the bench.

Rusney Castillo has morphed into Allen Craig, but you just don’t toss away that kind of money without another attempt at resuscitating his career.

Next: Letter to David Ortiz

The Red Sox will add a player or two in the spring just as every team does. Last season a few surfaced with no real impact, but Leon was once in that category and now he starts.

Yellow tape zone: Depletion by injuries reduces bench effectiveness.

Prediction: Hernandez will stay.

Sources: Fangraphs