The Boston Red Sox recently brought Eduardo Nunez back to the team. Overlooked is some of the pressure he’ll take off certain players.
On Sunday it became official that the Boston Red Sox were bringing back Eduardo Nunez. It’s easy to be excited about the deal after his fantastic play down the stretch last season and the relatively cheap price tag (potentially $8 million over two years).
Something that may be overlooked though is also what might be a game changer for the 2018 Red Sox. Pressure.
With Nunez back, obviously the Red Sox get much better depth. He’s also the clear solution to the second base situation to start the year, as Dustin Pedroia may miss some time early in the season.
He’s also a safety blanket for the left side of the infield.
Rafael Devers was astonishingly good after being called up last season, effectively ending the team’s third base woes. He’s just 21 and has 222 career MLB at-bats though.
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Xander Bogaerts has been the shortstop in Boston for the last few years. Second-half struggles have hit him in a few seasons though, and things tend to go south quick with him.
With Nunez on the team, both players will have a chance to take a day (or two) off and collect themselves should things start to trend downwards. This gives the Red Sox flexibility and reduces the danger that they’ll have to scramble for help should their young talent falter.
I’m not saying Bogaerts or Devers will fall to the level of needing to be traded or demoted. You’re lying to yourself if you truly believe Bogaerts has never shown signs of fatigue after particularly brutal spots in the scheduling though.
As for Devers, no matter how good he’s projected to be, anything can happen. It could be detrimental to a young players’s mental state to go through an extremely prolonged slump. Having Nunez available to sub in before things get too bad could be just what the doctor ordered.
Don’t forget about last year either. I’m not just talking about his play on the field. Who did Devers seemed attached to the hip to in the dugout? Eduardo Nunez. Bringing back a possible mentor for the young third base seems like a no-brainer.
Eduardo Nunez is coming back to the Red Sox thanks to terrific speed the solid all-around offensive game he showcased last year. Admittedly, the power he showed in a Boston uniform probably isn’t sustainable over a full year (for Nunez at least). He can be a spark to the lineup though, and is a great depth piece.
It’s that pressure relief that’s being overlooked though, and it could come in handy.