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Good Thing Red Sox Bucked Convention in Tapping John Farrell

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Tracy Ringolsby examines the positional lineage of major league managers and found pitchers to be least likely to make it as big league skippers.

Writes Ringolsby, according to Stats LLC, there have been 48 former MLB pitchers who have managed in the majors.

Other MLB positions: 113 former catchers, 104 former outfielders, 75 former shortstops, 72 former second basemen, 57 former first basemen and 56 former third basemen. And note: 124 players who never appeared in a big league game.

Red Sox manager John Farrell and Padres skipper Bud Black are the two current managers who were pitchers.

And opportunity, as Ringolsby notes, is the key factor in determining managerial success.

Farrell produced mediocre results during his first two years as a manager in Toronto.

But proved he was the right choice to lead the Boston turnaround.

Uehara Picking Up Where He Left Off

Still early in Spring Training, but it is worth noting Koji Uehara is pitching with the same precision he demonstrated in the 2013 season.

And one of the keys (along with incredible control) to Uehara success is the splitter.

Last season, writes Tim Britton, was the most effective Uehara’s splitter has ever been, with opposing batters hitting only .096 off the pitch. His splitter produced a career-high strikeout rate of 28 percent.

Look for a repeat performance, John Tomase notes, predicting Uehara will make his first All-Star team in 2014.

Middlebrooks – Key to Left Side of Infield

When assessing the left side of the Red Sox infield – the pivotal player is Will Middlebrooks.

Boston entered Spring Training figuring super-prospect Xander Bogaerts would play.

Somewhere – shortstop as a first choice but third if Middlebrooks didn’t show a renewed spark.

The Sox had Stephen Drew – stuck in free agent limbo – as an option to comeback at short – freeing Bogaerts to move to the hot corner.

But Middlebrooks’ play in Spring Training so far has meant Boston has not had to try to play the Drew card.

As Michael Silverman writes, halfway through the spring schedule, Middlebrooks is demonstrating a more selective approach at the plate. Delivering five RBI, two HRs and 15 total bases has placed Middlebrooks in the top three of any Red Sox batter in camp.

What do you think – will Uehara make the All-Star team? Is Middlebrooks primed for a comeback?

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