With less than a week left in the Red Sox’s season and the team out of playoff contention since seemingly just after the All-Star break, it may be hard to find reason to watch the last week of the season on the surface. But, in reality, the team has been as fun to watch the past few weeks as at any other point of the season. Interim manager Torey Lovullo is playing the younger players and they’ve provided some of the more exciting action of the season. Here are three reasons to tune in during the final week:
1. The outfield situation
It seems the Red Sox are set on having Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Rusney Castillo as their outfielders in 2016, but where exactly they play remains up in the air. All of the last homestand the Sox had Betts playing right with Bradley Jr. in center and Castillo in left. With Castillo out Monday, Bradley Jr. played left field at Yankee Stadium. The theme is the Red Sox are trying all the different combinations to see what works best. From this viewpoint, the best option is to have Castillo in left, Bradley Jr. in center and Betts in right.
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2. Owens’ last start
Eduardo Rodriguez made his last start Monday night in New York and it appears Henry Owens will make his last one this weekend in Cleveland. The two lefties have been impressive in their rookie seasons. Rodriguez has made a good enough impression that he’s pretty much penciled in for the 2016 rotation. Owens has been solid in his time in the majors, but there’s some uncertainly for his 2016 status. With another lefty in Rodriguez ahead of him, do the Sox want to go into the season with two young rookies in their rotation? There’s a chance the Sox could look to deal Owens this offseason. This weekend’s start could be Owens’ last chance to prove his worth.
3. Orsillo’s farewell
Sunday will be Don Orsillo’s last broadcast on NESN as he will be replaced by WEEI/ESPN’s Dave O’Brien next season. There was a tribute played on the video board at Fenway Park last Sunday, as that was his last home game. NESN has been highly criticized this week for not airing it on TV, but the station said late Monday that they have been planning their own farewell for this coming Sunday. With Orsillo being in many New England homes for so many years, Sunday afternoon will be a sad day for many.