Red Sox

Drellich: Red Sox can't move on third base yet

Drellich: Red Sox can't move on third base yet

The Red Sox have the worst production in the majors at third base, per's wins above replacement. 

For now, they shouldn’t do anything major to fill that black hole.

That’s not because they don’t need the help. Rather, they need to wait and see whether third base remains their greatest problem before committing significant resources to it.

A small fix would be fine. But for the Red Sox to spend all their salary cap space — excuse me, luxury-tax threshold space — and for them to deal away one of their remaining prospects on the position would be jumping the gun. 

What if they need another starting pitcher?

In June, maybe David Price is back and looks good. Maybe relievers Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg are about to return too, or already have. Then it’d be hard to imagine another need being greater.

But what if Price gets hurt again, and Kyle Kendrick doesn’t shake out? The Sox will need to go out and trade for someone like, say, Drew Pomeranz.

Third base has never really been a settled matter. This hasn’t been an exercise in genius roster building.

Over the winter, the Sox tried to sign Trevor Plouffe, who wound up going to the A’s and is hitting just .191. So, they might have dodged a bullet inadvertently. But at the same time, it was clear the Sox always wanted a better right-handed hitting option at third base than Pablo Sandoval.

Of course, Sandoval isn’t an option at all. He’s out with a right knee sprain he suffered while going down for a ground ball, which isn’t the most traditional way to suffer a knee sprain. Tee work is about to begin.

Brock Holt is out too, with vertigo, but is trying another rehab assignment Saturday. Marco Hernandez dislocated his left shoulder.

Holt and Sandoval both are on their way back. All three of them could return and be unproductive. Yet, the fact three players are coming back is an incentive for the Sox to wait and see.

Maybe Josh Rutledge, a Rule 5 pick who has to say on the roster, shows some mettle that’s unexpected. The Sox should let that play out for a time.

It'd be different if the Sox had a ton of prospects left. They don't. Trading one now hurts all the more. 

Rafael Devers, who could well take over the position next year, might be able to force his way to the majors later this season. But Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski didn’t sound like someone ready to fast-track the 20-year-old, who has a .956 OPS and five homers at Double-A Portland.

Said one scout who’s seen him: “Played the hell out of third. Solid bat and good instincts for the game. Little concerned about the body though. High maintenance...Think he needs the full year in the minors.”

The Sox cannot go on with a full season like this at third base. But their self-imposed resource limitations should keep them from acting hastily.

John Farrell joins ESPN’s ‘Baseball Tonight’ as analyst

File Photo

John Farrell joins ESPN’s ‘Baseball Tonight’ as analyst

John Farrell can add another job to his resume.

The former Boston Red Sox manager has joined the crew for ESPN's "Baseball Tonight," according to The Boston Globe. His debut will be on Wednesday for a season-preview show.

The Red Sox fired Farrell on Oct. 11, 2017 despite a second-straight A.L. East crown. Alex Cora will begin his first season in Farrell's old role during the 2018 season.

Farrell added the broadcast work after the Cincinnati Reds hired him as a scout and adviser with a focus on pitching. He interviewed this offseason for the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals managing jobs, but both teams passed on him.


Red Sox minor league team invites Trump, Biden to settle it in ring

File photos

Red Sox minor league team invites Trump, Biden to settle it in ring

In this corner, the challenger out of Scranton, Pa., Joltin' Joe Biden...In the other corner, straight out of Queens, the President of the United States, Dandy Donald J. Trump!

The venue: LeLacheur Park, Lowell, Mass., home of the Red Sox Class-A affiliate, the Lowell Spinners.

Ladies and gentlemen, it's The Slasher at LeLacheur!

After the former Vice-President told a crowd at the University of Miami earlier this week of the current President, "If we were in high school, I'd take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him, President Trump fired back on Twitter Thursday morning. 

The Spinners, the Sox' short-season New York-Penn League affiliate, have offered to host a boxing match between the Republican President and Democratic former Vice President on Aug. 17 by the flagpole at LeLacheur. Former light-welterweight champ and Lowell native Micky Ward has agreed to referee.

No word yet if Trump, who'll be 72 by then, or Biden, 75, have accepted the invitation.

The Spinners' press release announcing the invitation says that if the two do accept, "the boxing match will take place regardless of the weather, no matter how stormy it may get."