Red Sox historic trials and tribulations at third base

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 3: Rafael Devers
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 3: Rafael Devers /
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WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 05: Will Middlebrooks (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 05: Will Middlebrooks (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /


The most obvious – no surprise – Pablo Sandoval and the flushing down the hopper of his $95 million contract. That notation above regarding the Red Sox from 2012-17?  The Panda is the significant contributor to that statistical disaster. In three seasons Sandoval contributed a .237 average and -20.3 UZR/150.

Will Middlebrooks put up magical introductory numbers in 2012.  In just 75 games, Middlebrooks hit 15 home runs and had 54 RBI while hitting .284. A powerful right-handed bat just waiting to rack up home run totals at Fenway. Middlebrooks was once ranked the number one prospect in the system – like Devers. Then it all came apart. Middlebrooks is now in Triple-A and may surface again.

What did the Red Sox know about Ted Cox? I saw Cox at Pawtucket in 1977 when he hit .336 and then came to Boston in September. The major league debut for Cox was historic, going 4-4 and hitting .362 in his brief Boston stay. Cox never played third that season, but had held down the hot corner at Pawtucket and the year before at Bristol. Cox was traded in the off-season and lasted in MLB until 1981.

Wilton Veras made the 1999 squad and hit .288. Veras was just 21-years-old and played a questionable defensive contribution at third. A right-handed hitter who then split his 2000 season between Boston and Pawtucket before moving on to a world tour of leagues before hanging it up in 2010.

I thought that Garin Cecchini would be Boston’s answer to Alex Gordon. Gordon moved to left field from third and became an All-Star. Cecchini – never a great glove man – attempted the same. Cecchini – like Gordon – looked like a left-handed doubles machine in the making. Cecchini just never succeeded and is now in Omaha playing third in the Royals system. Think of Cecchini whenever Devers, Michael Chavis or even Bobby Dalbec is mentioned.