The biggest debate, and certainly the most talked about competition, with the Boston Red Sox is, who will end up being the starting centerfielder, Jackie Bradley Jr. or Grady Sizemore? There is, however, another position battle, perhaps a little less sexy and less discussed, but could still be very significant, especially if there is an injury. I am talking about the backup infielder position.
There are two candidates for the job. One is Brock Holt, who the Red Sox acquired last year from the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Joel Hanrahan trade and who came up to Boston a few times throughout the 2014 season. The other is Jonathan Herrera, who was part of the Franklin Morales deal. Totally off the subject, I loved Morales’ arm and hate to see him go. Sorry for that segue, back to the topic at hand.
Both players can handle different positions in the infield, both can run well, and they both play third base, which could be significant if there are issues with Will Middlebrooks. Herrera is probably faster, while Holt appears to have the better offensive skill set, so it really depends on what Boston’s needs are with the roster.
A lot of that could come back to the whole Sizemore situation. If Sizemore makes the team, and it looks like that could happen, they might have to keep Bradley as a backup. If they keep Bradley, there may not be room for Mike Carp. Carp was a big weapon for Boston off the bench last year, and if he is gone, they need someone who can make contact late in the game. Holt could fill that role.
If Sizemore does get hurt or needs more time, Bradley makes the team, and so does Carp. Boston then might need a little more speed and a good glove man off the bench, and that would be Herrera.
We have a few weeks to see which way this one goes, but it looks like so many roster decisions are coming down to the health of Sizemore.