Red Sox: Where current injury woes rank in value and significance
By Jimmy Longo
Josh Rutledge’s injury and Marco Hernandez replacing him
Who would’ve thought that the presence or lack thereof of Josh Rutledge would become a storyline a week before the season starts?
The 27-year-old, who has hit a modest .276 in 67 career games for the Red Sox dating back to 2015, emerged this spring as a viable option off the bench at the corner positions against left-handed pitching to start the season.
That last bit changed this week, as Rutledge pulled a hamstring, putting his chances of making the opening day roster at a significant disadvantage.
It’s pretty atypical that a bench option is providing such an anomaly to Red Sox management about who to replace the at-bats with, sacrificing average for weakness or the ability to play first base with Hanley Ramirez’s continued shoulder woes, yet Rutledge going down has done that.
As earlier stated, Red Sox management is more than likely considering infielders Marco Hernandez and Steve Selsky.
While Hernandez and Selsky both performed well in spring games — they hit .379 and .356 respectively — they both do not have experience playing first base. Granted, neither did Rutledge, but he’d been working there.
The favorite pick among Red Sox social media has been without a doubt Hernandez, and reasonably so. The young infielder has been laying in the waits while performing well in his Red Sox cameos.
The question with Hernandez though, is his ability to hit left-handed major league pitching. This is something that, according to Evan Drellich of CSNNE, Hernandez has an aptitude for doing at the minor league level.
"He hit .328 vs. them at Triple-A Pawtucket last season in 67 at-bats. His clip at Pawtucket in 2015 was .315 in 54 at-bats, with a .318 average against them that season in 88 at-bats for Double-A Portland."
For what it’s worth, Hernandez was 4-8 last year at the major league level against left-handed pitching.