Home > Game Previews, MLB > Red Sox Game 113 preview: Let’s add to the Scooby Gang

Red Sox Game 113 preview: Let’s add to the Scooby Gang

No preamble today; I’m just gonna post the lineup. Tell me if you notice anything.

1. CF Jacoby Ellsbury – .302/.363/.428 (.346 wOBA)
2. RF Shane Victorino – .286/.330/.421 (.329)
3. 2B Dustin Pedroia – .292/.370/.409 (.343)
4. DH David Ortiz – .322/.402/.588 (.413)
5. 1B Mike Napoli – .259/.348/.459 (.351)
6. LF Mike Carp – .311/.373/.589 (.409)
7. C Jarrod Saltalamacchia – .263/.330/.451 (.339)
8. SS Stephen Drew – .239/.324/.424 (.326)
9. 3B Brock Holt – .250/.280/.295 (.251)

SP Felix Doubront – 117 IP, 107 K, 51 BB, 8 HR; 3.77 ERA (111 ERA+)
3.51 FIP, 3.89 xFIP, 4.05 tERA, 4.04 SIERA

  • “Hey, Shane Victorino’s pretty good.” No, that’s not it, although he has raised his OPS by 42 points in the last five days (!).
  • “Holy crap, Mike Carp is playing!” I know, right?! But that’s not it, either.
  • “Wait, Stephen Drew’s as good a hitter as Shane Victorino?” That’s true, yes. And Stephen plays shortstop, which is hard, as opposed to right field, which is not. He’s also played in more games and is two years younger. Now guess which one of them has two more guaranteed years on his contract. But no, even that is not my point.
  • “Wow, Brock Holt sucks.” Ding ding ding ding ding!

More specifically, Brock Holt sucks and is left-handed. Now, against a righthanded starter, I’d rather play Holt than Brandon Snyder, but this lineup essentially features five straight lefthanded hitters batting in the 6-1 spots, and just about anyone will tell you that that’s suboptimal. Plus, with Holt’s terrible bat in the lineup every day, the fastest guy on the bench is probably Junichi Tazawa, and the fastest who will see any action as a pinch runner is Daniel Nava. We know how that worked out.

So, here’s a radical thought: Why not call up Xander Bogaerts? He’s holding his own at AAA (.843 OPS overall, and .887 in 17 games since the All-Star break), he’s going to be here next year, and…really, the alternative is Brock Holt. Getting Xander in the lineup would help the offense by excising Holt, and it would help the bench by giving John Farrell a competent pinch runner, which is literally more than infinity times as many competent pinch runners as he currently has. Plus, as if the actual baseball reasons weren’t enough, having a dude named Xander on the team provides an endless wellspring of Buffy jokes and other enjoyment.

And wouldn’t that be the greatest gift of all?

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