Boston Red Sox Should Not Send Brock Holt Down to Minors When Will Middlebrooks Returns
Infielder Brock Holt has been one of the lone bright spots within the Boston Red Sox‘ lineup during the 2014 season. After being called up from the Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA), Holt has hit .400 (eight hits in 20 AB) and has driven in four runs in six games. His offensive contributions have been valuable to the Red Sox, who have been able to drive in more runs and play a stronger brand of baseball. Despite Will Middlebrooks getting set to return off the disabled list, Holt has the offensive and defensive firepower to be a valuable contributor for the Red Sox off the bench.
Holt would be a valuable reserve because he can hit for solid contact consistently, taking pressure off the other hitters in the Red Sox’ lineup. Holt’s offensive flexibility is unparalleled by most players on the Red Sox, making manager John Farrell‘s job much easier when it comes to preparing lineups. In his six games with the Red Sox, Holt has usually hit towards the bottom of the order, but he has the capacity to be a solid leadoff hitter when given the opportunity. Essentially, Holt’s ability to bat to all parts of the field, as well as his offensive flexibility, help him become a solid reserve player with the Red Sox.
Another key facet of Holt’s game is his solid play on defense. Despite making one error at third base (a botched grounder against the Baltimore Orioles on Apr. 19), Holt has been a solid force at third base who can also play other positions. During his career, Holt has played shortstop and second base in addition to third base, making his defensive mobility a cherished aspect for a hard-working infield. In essence, Holt is a flexible defensive player, which adds another layer to his skilled contributions to the Red Sox.
However, the one variable that is affecting Holt’s status with the Red Sox is Jonathan Herrera, who was initially acquired to be the backup infielder for the Red Sox. Herrera has only hit .214 on the season and has been inconsistent in the infield. When comparing the two players, Holt has the upside when it comes to offensive and defensive flexibility. However, Herrera’s experience (he hit .292 with the Colorado Rockies in 2013) should make the transaction more difficult for the Red Sox to make.
In essence, Holt has the skills and the flexibility to become a valuable backup infielder for the Red Sox. When Middlebrooks returns from the disabled list on Friday, Holt should stay with the Red Sox while Herrera goes down to Pawtucket with his final minor league option. Holt has proven his worth to the Red Sox’ infield over the past few games and should continue to make those contributions throughout the 2014 season.