How Red Sox Left Field is Shaping Up
Here’s the latest on left field for the Red Sox – a situation that doesn’t appear to be following in the Manny Ramirez, Jim Rice and Carl Yastrzemski tradition.
Jonny Gomes says he is planning to grab more than a platoon role in left.
Of course, the issue is Gomes posts strong offensive numbers against lefty pitchers and weak ones versus righties.
The Red Sox are pretty much a by-the-numbers team – so it will be interesting to see how much opportunity Gomes gets when right-handers are on the mound.
We also have the sad story of Gomes’ potential platoon player – Ryan Kalish – needing surgery once again, a move that will delay Kalish getting on the field in 2013.
Unfortunately, it looks like Kalish is Boston’s version of Grady Sizemore (without first demonstrating the big league performance) – a player whose body betrays his all-out, aggressive style of play.
Here’s hoping Kalish can finally put the injury bug behind him.
Of course, with every setback, there is opportunity.
Enter: Daniel Nava, who will be fighting for a roster spot this spring.
More likely – given Mike Napoli and his hip issue – the Red Sox will be looking for a lefty bench bat, who can play both outfield and first base.
That’s not something Nava has done – and may be tough to demonstrate without some minor league experience doing it.
This blog has previously suggested Colorado’s Tyler Colvin for that spot. Another, more expensive, option would be Pittsburgh’s Garrett Jones – although it’s hard seeing the Pirates part with him unless being blown away by the offer.
Logan Morrison of Miami could be another fit – but right now, he is penciled in as the Marlins starting first baseman. So Miami getting a replacement would need to figure in the trade equation – not necessarily coming directly from Boston.
One more name to include in the left field mix is Ryan Sweeney.
We know what can be expected from Sweeney: good field (especially arm), decent average, no power.
Sweeney re-signed with Boston on a minor league contract, so he could provide some depth at AAA Pawtucket.
Lastly, the Red Sox could have a new left field candidate develop over the course of the 2013 season.
Top prospects – Jackie Bradley Jr. and Bryce Brentz – are expected to start the season in Pawtucket.
A fast start by either player could rocket him up the organizational depth chart with a trip to Fenway.
In particular, keep an eye on Bradley who is a model of what the Red Sox want to be in 2013 and beyond.
What’s your plan for the Red Sox in left field?