Red Sox Versatility Should Not Be Overlooked

I have come to the conclusion that versatility is the Red Sox organization’s top strength and it should not be overlooked in 2016. Already we have seen guys step-up to the challenge when injuries and inconsistency arose. Guys like Josh Rutledge, Marco Hernandez, and Heath Hembree have all shown us what “Red Sox versatility” really is and by being key contributors and bright spots in what has so far been a dismal season.Red Sox versatility

Down in Pawtucket the phrase ‘Red Sox versatility’ can be seen in action on a daily basis with guys not only getting reps in at different positions, but also embracing the challenge. One of those guys is IF/OF Sean Coyle. A 3rd round draft pick out of Germantown Academy (PA) in 2010 has been seeing time this season down in Pawtucket at 2B, 3B, and CF. When I asked him about seeing time in the outfield, Coyle responded:

“It’s an easy comp, being an infielder and then going ahead to the outfield. i know Mookie started out as an infielder and then moved to the outfield, anywhere I can go and pick up some AB’s I’m ready to go, I’m ready to play and its kind of a challenge I’ve embraced.”

Having a guy who you can move all around the left side of the infield as well as CF not only helps the organization, but also will help him in the long run. With the way injuries have been taking over the first month of the season for the Sox, you could be seeing Coyle’s versatility at the major league level this season.

It’s becoming more of a common trend to see guys becoming utility-players . Names such as Ben Zobrist, Brock Holt, and Danny Valencia are showing teams that having the ability to play multiple positions can surely strengthen a teams depth, but also gives managers the flexibility to carry an extra pitcher or 2, and we all know you can never have too many pitchers.

 

Sox Sign Infielder Ryan Roberts

Sox Sign Infielder Ryan Roberts

The Red Sox have signed veteran infielder Ryan Roberts to a Major-League contract today and have added him to the 25-man roster.

The 33-year old spent the entire 2013 season with the Tampa Bay Rays splitting time between AAA and the Major League level.

The need for a move escalated over the weekend after the team added starting third baseman Will Middlebrooks to the 15-day disabled list.

Middlebrooks has been diagnosed with a Grade-1 calf strain and now joins outfielder Shane Victorino on the DL.

The injury to Middlebrooks is not considered to be serious, but is expected to keep the slugger sidelined for up to three weeks.

The addition of Roberts gives the Sox some much needed infield bench depth and a viable short-term injury replacement for Middlebrooks.

Roberts is capable of playing six positions, but has seen the bulk of his playing time at third base with 1,737 innings logged over 217 games including 195 starts.

At third base, for his career, Roberts features a 5.9 UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) and a .958 fielding percentage.

In 2013, Roberts hit .247 with five home runs and 17 RBI over 60 games for the Rays.

To make room for Roberts on the roster, the Red Sox optioned Brock Holt to AAA Pawtucket and transferred pitcher Steven Wright to the 60-Day DL.

New Sox utility man Jonathan Herrera will make his third-straight start at third base tonight against the Texas Rangers.