Boston Red Sox spring training worry list of players to watch

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: Rafael Devers
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 08: Rafael Devers /
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HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 05: Eduardo Nunez (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX – OCTOBER 05: Eduardo Nunez (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Eduardo Nunez was a signing that had to happen.  With Dustin Pedroia possibly unavailable into May the Red Sox needed the energetic Nunez as a fill in.  Last season, Nunez started 25 games at second with a -4 DRS and a -1.8 UZR. Forget a Gold Glove for the versatile Nunez, but he will make the plays, give speed and make up defensive shortcomings with his bat.

Nunez was a pleasant surprise when the Red Sox traded with the Giants for the soon to be a free agent. Nunez provided a much-needed offensive jolt with a Boston slash of .321/.353/.539 with another surprise being eight home runs and 27 RBI in just 38 games for the 30-year-old right-hand hitter. Nunez also sipped 24 bases in 31 attempts between Boston and the Giants. So, what is the worry?

Watching the gritty Nunez being carted off the field in trying to play through a damaged knee is the concern. Nunez game relies on quickness and speed – how will that be affected? The knee is “repaired” but being repaired and up to earlier standards is another issue.

Nunez is a dirt dog and showed his grit attempting to play through an injury – an injury that may have been a key ingredient of Nunez not getting a longer contract with Boston or elsewhere. If Nunez has lost some mobility then Boston may be taking a long look at Marco Hernandez, Tzu-Wei Lin, and Brock Holt.