Now that Stephen Drew is back in Boston it seems like that age old question has arose again. Who is the odd man out on the left side of the Red Sox infield? Will Middlebrooks is taking another stint on the DL, so the choice is pretty obvious for now. When he returns different theories will undoubtedly start to fly.
Xander has all the tools to become a superstar for the Red Sox, however his fielding hasn’t been top notch at short and his bat has been streaky, especially with runners in scoring position. Many also prefer to see him mature a bit more before he fully takes over the shortstop role.
Will has shown flashes of extreme potential at various points in his career. Will busted onto the scene his rookie season in 2012, one of the few bright spots in a disastrous season in Boston. However, injuries have slowed him down while his batting average has severely dropped since his 2012 campaign for the Sox.
Stephen, while inconsistent at times with his bat, always seems to make up for it with his glove. John Farrell took a lot of criticism from the media during the 2013 playoffs about Drew’s hitting, nonetheless stayed with him for his excellent defense. Without a doubt, Drew will provide Boston with great defense and a solid bat at short.
So between the 3 talents here, 2 young guns and 1 veteran, who is the odd man out? When Will Middlebrooks returns from the DL it looks as if he will have to be the man to take a seat. Drew will most likely be seen in the lineup for primarily right handed pitchers, being left handed his batting average against lefties is severely lower. So Will, will most likely grab a majority of his bats against left handed pitching. Xander will always pose a threat at the plate. His play at shortstop has been concerning which is why we will see him move to third base vs. right handed pitching. The Red Sox are in it for the long haul with Boegarts, despite his defensive struggles at short.
The Drew signing, it seems, is only a short term fix. The Sox obviously don’t see Drew in the team’s future with Xander up and coming and also choosing to not resign him for the longest time. Will Middlebrooks could find himself on the way out of Boston if he can’t improve his consistency and stay healthy. The injury for him right now has definitely made him the odd man out in this crazy triangle. The addition has given the Red Sox something they didn’t have before, options.