Red Sox: Roster squeeze on way for Boston OF
It was barely three weeks ago that the intricacies of interleague play and the DH were giving Terry Francona headaches about who to play in right field.
David Ortiz will be out again tonight as he finishes a three-game suspension. Francona’s right field headache returns as scheduled on Friday.
The dilemma now is more fundamental than a cameo appearance by Adrian Gonzalez in Philadelphia. With veteran J.D. Drew drowning in sea of mediocrity and young Josh Reddick hotter than the sun — with bat and glove — Francona is left to make the hardest of choices.
Drew, in the final year of his five-year contract, entered last night hitting a measly .158 in July with an OPS of .478, scoring and driving in four runs. Reddick, with 83 games of major league experience, was hitting .339 with 14 runs and 15 RBIs in 22 games since his recall June 19.
“[Drew] has a long history of doing what he’s done, and to this point it hasn’t been what he normally does,” Francona told WEEI yesterday.
“[Reddick] doesn’t have the history, but he’s been a huge part of what we’re doing for the last month. So it creates a little bit of a — I don’t want to say dilemma, because it’s good.”
With Ortiz out, Francona started Carl Crawford at DH last night, allowing both Drew and Reddick to play the corners against the Orioles.
But when Ortiz returns Friday, there will only be room for one.
“I just don’t know exactly how it’s going to work,” Francona said. “It’s easy just to put the guy that’s hot out there, but as a manager you have to think, ‘OK, am I hurting down the road more than I’m helping today?’ So that makes me think a little bit.”