One thing new Red Sox manager Alex Cora learned in Houston was the need to rest key players throughout the season. The Sox do not want to be fatigued in August and September like they were last season, so Cora will likely be shifting players in and out of the lineup on a consistent basis. The main juggling act will be at first base and DH, as Cora will likely use a rotation of JD Martinez, Hanley Ramirez and Mitch Moreland. Martinez will also see plenty of time in the outfield in order to keep his bat in the lineup.
Ramirez saw plenty of time as the No. 3 hitter in the lineup this spring as Cora likes the look of Ramirez in front of JD Martinez. Here is a shot in the dark at what the Sox lineup should look like most of the time.
1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Andrew Benintendi, LF
3. Hanley Ramirez, 1B
4. JD Martinez, DH
5. Xander Bogaerts, SS
6. Rafael Devers, 3B
7. Eduardo Nunez, 2B
8. Christian Vazquez, C
9. Jackie Bradley Jr, CF
Nunez could figure to climb in the order if he resembles anything like the player we saw last August. Along those same lines, Bogaerts could fall if he continues to hit (or not hit, rather) like he did down the stretch of last year.
Bogaerts continues to be one of the more confusing players in recent Red Sox history as sometimes he looks like one of the top hitters in baseball, and other times he looks like he couldn’t hit a down-the-middle fastball by the third best pitcher on the staff of Brookline High.
Bogaerts hit .315 in April last year, and then hit a highly impressive .351 in the month of March. After that it was all downhill.
Right now it seems like Bogaerts could go down as one of the more inconsistent players in Sox history, but it’s important to remember that he’s still just 25-years-old.
Bogaerts hit .319 this spring in 47 at-bats.