The Boston Red Sox need to find a reliable first baseman
The lack of production from first basemen in the Boston Red Sox lineup has been a sore spot all season but the defense at the position has been even worse.
Bobby Dalbec’s struggles forced the Red Sox to platoon him at first base in order to utilize him primarily against left-handed pitching. Their limited depth at the position pushed Franchy Cordero into an unfamiliar role. Cordero had never played first base prior to his arrival in Boston last season and he has started only 47 career games at the position.
Cordero’s inexperience was exposed by the Cleveland Guardians in Wednesday night’s loss.
With a pair of runners in scoring position and nobody out in the second inning, Cordero made a leaping stab at a ball hit toward first base, only for the ball to pop out of his glove. He chased it down as the ball rolled away from him, spun and delivered an awkward off-balance throw to first base that was well out of the reach of the pitcher covering the bag. Cordero was charged with two errors on the play while two unearned runs went against Nathan Eovaldi.
Cordero made the same mistake in the 8th inning when Nolan Jones beat out an infield single. Franchy made another terrible throw while falling away from first base, allowing the runner to advance to second base.
Jones would end up coming around to score the tying run in that inning. Perhaps he would have scored from first anyway on the double by Myles Straw – John Schreiber was charged with a rare earned run – but we’ll never know if the Red Sox could have prevented that run with a play at the plate if Jones wasn’t already in scoring position due to the error.
Cordero should have put the ball in his back pocket on both plays. Instead, he looked like he was trying to imitate Stephen Curry shooting a fadeaway 30-footer to beat the buzzer, only Cordero’s shot splashed down far from his intended target. He had no chance of recording the out at first and his ill-advised throws allowed runners to advance. He cost the Red Sox at least a pair of runs in a game they lost by one.