Defense has always been an important part of the game and on St. Patrick’s Day, the Boston Red Sox reminded fans why that is.
En route to an 11-3 beating against the Atlanta Braves, the Red Sox committed four errors in what could be best described as a rather sloppy game. Balls were dropped in the outfield, throws sailed all over the place and resulted in free runs for the Braves.
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So far this spring, the Red Sox are a respectable 8-6, not that Spring Training records matter. What does stand out is their performance, or lack thereof, in the field. So far this spring, the Red Sox have committed 15 errors in 14 games— a number which should cause a slight bit of concern.
People do take excellent defenders for granted because many of them struggle so much at the plate. Take Jackie Bradley Jr. for example. He might be the best defensive center fielder in the league, but the team does not feel comfortable with him as the Opening Day center fielder because they have Mookie Betts.
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As time goes on, the Red Sox should be able to improve on defense as guys play where they are most comfortable. Spring Training is about trying new people and new things so it is safe to say, not everyone can play everywhere on the diamond and in the outfield.
Both in the Minors and in the Majors, players will have the opportunity to play where they play best which will help everyone out. Certainly, Minor League baseball is a much different case because it is a low pressure environment.
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It does not help the fielders when their pitchers are getting lit up on a daily basis either. Some guys have trouble just taking the ball an inning at a time at random— they are what we like to call starting pitchers.