Boston Red Sox Should Move OF Mookie Betts to Shortstop

By Will Gellman
Mookie Betts
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

When Mookie Betts made the transition from second base to the outfield, many Boston Red Sox fans thought it was the only option for the club given the presence of Dustin Pedroia at second base. They felt as though Betts could replace the struggling Jackie Bradley Jr. and provide some stability to their lineup. Instead, the team has grown desperate for some stability on defense with five errors their past two games with another two today, despite having the same problems scoring runs. Betts has had some growing pains adjusting to life as an outfielder, Xander Bogaerts has been a disaster both offensively and defensively in the past month-plus and Stephen Drew has been the disappointment most fans thought he would be at shortstop.

With all of that said, the Red Sox now have two options: They can keep their current defensive alignment or they can do something about it. In my opinion, the Red Sox should move Betts to shortstop, a position that he is more comfortable playing and one that quite frankly suits him better.

Doing this can help the Red Sox in two ways. The team can rid themselves of the disappointing Drew, who despite hitting home runs in both games of the doubleheader yesterday is a subpar player at best. He can field adequately, but his .151 batting average does not put fear in the hearts of the opposition by any means.

The Red Sox would then have the luxury of getting Brock Holt out of the outfield and putting him at third base where, like Betts, he probably fits the best. The outfield would then consist of Daniel Nava in left, Bradley Jr. in center and Jonny Gomes in right (at least until Shane Victorino comes back).

These moves would likely leave Bogaerts the odd man out and consequently see him sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket, but the way he is playing right now, that may not be such a bad thing. He needs to regroup, get his confidence back and work on his defense which has been mediocre all year long regardless of what position he has played as evidenced by his 13 errors in 88 games.

The Red Sox may be close to out of the playoff race at this point, but they can still make a last-ditch effort to make the postseason if they make these moves. If they play well enough for the remainder of the games before August, they can get another outfielder at the trade deadline to further improve their chances at contention.

Right now the Red Sox need to weather the storm by any means necessary. That starts with moving Betts to shortstop.

Will Gellman is a New England Patriots writer for  Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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