A lot of things have gone wrong for the BoSox this year, but nothing has gone worse than the Red Sox outfield. At one point they were on pace to achieve historically bad numbers. Grady Sizemore never got it going, Jackie Bradley Jr. was putting offensive numbers like my Grandma would have if she were an MLB player, Daniel Nava was horrendous in the early-going, Jonny Gomes was mediocre, and Shane Victorino spent more time on the disabled list than on the playing field.
It was hard to watch, almost insufferable, but, hey, at least the Red Sox had their scapegoat — well, other than A.J. Pierzynski, of course. They rode that horse until the outfield started playing slightly bearable baseball, and, naturally, Stephen Drew arrived to take blame for Boston’s inexcusable failure. I mean, at least Drew got to serve a purpose.
Nevertheless, heading into the much-anticipated 2014 MLB Trade Deadline the Red Sox outfield seemed to be, at the very least, adequate. Brock Holt, the Red Sox’ lord and savior, was being “Brock Holt,” Victorino was surprisingly healthy, Nava was playing well, Gomes, aside from his unreasonably dramatized catches, brought value with the stick, JBJ was too good defensively for words, and Mike Carp….I got nothing.
You see what I mean, though. Things were looking fine for Boston’s outfield if they decided to stay the course with their current group for the remainder of the year, yet next season it was going to be an inevitable dilemma. Ben Cherington, whom I grossly underestimated, was cognizant of the uncertainty surrounding his future outfield and his underwhelming outfield prospect group. So, he acquired Allen Craig and Yoenis Cespedes to make things a bit clearer in that regard.
Actually, he didn’t make things just clear, but created a logjam in the outfield. Along with Cespedes and Craig, Boston has the legend of Brock Holt, who hopefully will continue his unanticipated success, an average outfielder in Nava, a defensive whiz in Jackie Bradley Jr., and a rookie with a high-ceiling in Mookie Betts.
Six capable outfielders, three spots.
It was a weakness in the beginning, but Cherington has seemingly overnight turned it into a rich surplus. All six guys will — pending a roster move — be on the team next year, and now I think it’s safe to say Boston doesn’t need to target an outfielder this upcoming off season.