The Red Sox have had a slew of guys play first base this year, with six different players making starts there. Mike Napoli has held down the fort for the most part, starting 72 of the 95 games so far, with Mike Carp and Brock Holt getting the second and third most starts.
Nap was brought back this year after a solid first year at the plate and in the field. However, he hasn’t been quite as productive during the Red Sox first half of 2014. Last year, in 139 games, Napoli drove in 92 runs, but in 75 games this year, he only has 34 RBI’s. While he has been getting on base frequently, he is only batting .187 with runners in scoring position. If he is going to continue to bat in the 4th or 5th spot in the lineup, the Sox will need those numbers to go up.
Mike Carp has missed a fair amount of time while on the DL, but he has also under performed. Carp has the ability to add some pop to the lineup against right handed pitching, but with no home runs and only six extra base hits in 38 games, he isn’t fulfilling his role. Like I said, he hasn’t had a chance to play a bunch, but his slugging percentage is down over .200 points. Carp could be at risk of losing his job if he doesn’t pick it up soon.
Mr. Everything, Brock Holt, has also seen some time at first base, but he has recently been playing mostly in the outfield. Obviously, Holt has been one of the best stories of this disappointing season for Red Sox fans, and he left his mark on Sunday, collecting five more hits before the break. We will take a closer look at Holt in the outfield report card.
Mike Napoli- Grade: C+
Mike Carp- Grade: D