Red Sox Outfield Outlook: Boston’s Surplus Gives Club Offseason Options – NESN.com
The Boston Red Sox’s outfield changed drastically over the course of 162 games.
The unit hit historic lows over the first couple of months of 2014, contributing greatly to the Red Sox’s overall lack of offensive success. To his credit, general manager Ben Cherington addressed the issue both before and after the Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline.
As the Red Sox enter an interesting offseason, the outfield remains a hot topic. There are logical candidates to fill the three spots, but moves made this winter could change the landscape.
2014 at a glance
The Red Sox’s Opening Day outfield consisted of Mike Carp (left field), Grady Sizemore (center field) and Daniel Nava (right field). The bench options were Jonny Gomes and Jackie Bradley Jr. Shane Victorino was on the disabled list.
The Red Sox’s outfield on Sept. 28 — Boston’s final game of the season — consisted of Bryce Brentz (left field), Rusney Castillo (center field) and Nava (right field). Yoenis Cespedes, an outfielder by trade, served as the designated hitter. Allen Craig, also an outfielder, played first base. Mookie Betts, being groomed as an outfielder, played second base. Bradley was a bench option. Brock Holt, who saw time in the outfield, was out with a concussion. Victorino was on the disabled list.
Three conclusions can be drawn from these facts.
1. The Red Sox had a lot of turnover.
2. Boston has a whole bunch of outfielders.
3. Victorino is hurt a lot.
The Red Sox’s outfield situation quickly became a mess this season because the initial group didn’t produce. Bradley couldn’t hit a lick, Sizemore wasn’t the same player he once was with Cleveland, Carp regressed while being unhappy with his role and the Nava/Gomes platoon was a shell of its 2013 self. Before long, Holt and Betts, …read more