Remember that time Brock Holt was called up to the Boston Red Sox to basically fill a roster spot? I do. Remember that Holt’s been performing so well that he’s now the leadoff hitter and the Red Sox have a real issue to deal with when Stephen Drew comes back? Yeah, me too.
Holt has been one of the pleasant surprises of the 2014 Red Sox season. Called up after Will Middlebrooks landed on the disabled list, Holt is batting an impressive .315 to go along with a .385 on-base percentage. Even more impressive is his ability to get on in the leadoff spot. It’s a small sample, but in 38 at-bats, Holt is batting .316 to kick things off for the Red Sox. With runners on base, Holt is also batting .320 with three extra base hits and seven RBIs. Not too shabby for someone who was basically a body to have on the Red Sox roster.
But of course, the Red Sox seem to find a way to make things difficult. When they signed Stephen Drew, for whatever reason, it essentially takes time away from Xander Bogaerts or Holt. Some reports have said that Drew won’t be playing every day and will essentially be platooning with Bogaerts, depending on the pitching matchup, but regardless it will affect Holt. Bogaerts has been on fire since the Drew signing, maybe to prove to the Red Sox that he’s the man for the job. If this was hope for the Red Sox, well done. You’re getting what you wanted out of Bogaerts and lit a fire underneath him. His offense has been a true testament of that.
With Holt settling in nicely in the leadoff spot, it’s going to be real tough to bench him once Drew joins the Red Sox, reportedly on Monday. Who bats leadoff when Holt sits? Will Dustin Pedroia slide back into that role? He did find success earlier in the season, hitting .268 with a .354 on-base percentage, but it’s not a role for which Pedroia is best suited. I did write about how great of a job Perdroia was doing in the leadoff spot, but since the emergence of Holt, I believe his value is truly in the middle of the lineup. With Mike Napoli currently on the disabled list, Pedroia in the middle of the lineup is essential at this point. Pedroia won’t provide the pop that Napoli has but his average makes up for it.
In a perfect world, the kids would get their chance to play (the kids being Holt and Bogaerts). This ten million dollar shortstop they signed wasn’t only unnecessary, but proves to be a real logjam in the middle of the infield. Right at the point where the Red Sox lineup is beginning to click, here comes our almighty savior, Stephen Drew. Not only will his presence in the lineup prove to be anything but productive, it’s taking away precious time for the kids to perform and shine.