Re: Drew and Papi returns imminent, who goes?
posted at 4/5/2013 5:41 PM EDT
In response to softlaw2's comment:
Wrong question. Who should go?
When Drew returns, because of his 10 millon dollar contract, they need to DFA carp who will likely clear waivers but who cares if he doesn't. Nava is the backup 1st base guy and Ciriaco is the emergency OF backup if Gomes is DH'ing and they want to keep from losing the DH. Drew will need to take a bench role by DH'ing some opposite Gomes, and seeing if he can earn the spot that Iglesias has. Iglesias outplaed S Drew, before he got hit in the head, and Iglesias has done a great job as the #9 hitter and automatic out on all but the nearly impossible plays caliber SS. I doubt Drew can earn the job, but he'll get his chance before Ortiz returns.
If Ortiz returns, that will be awhile, it's not imminent, they will need to use Nava's last option and wait and see if Ortiz doesn't break down again. During that time, Drew will need to be the backup 1st baseman if he has failed to earn the SS position after several weeks as the platoon DH'er, and several more weeks of Iggy starting at SS. If Iggy continues his play from all spring and the Yankee series, or even a fraction of his playe work, they'll need to see if Drew is a character guy who accepts the bench role or whether he'll be a malcontent who wants to play for his next contract. If so, they'll need to "trade" Drew by writing off nearly all or, if he hits decently, a portion of his contract. They can then recall Nava.
Competent management is not what the Red Sox have, though. They use terms like "premium guy" while a young SS is performing at a high level all spring and in NY. Worst message they could send to the confidence of Iggy. Iggy should have to play his way out of the lineup before incomptent management demotes him.
Now, southpaux is the designated management shill, so take his comments with a grain of salt.
Strangely enough, I entire agree I would rather keep Iglesias and Bradley in the lineup. I even think you can make a case they would, in addition to being a lot more fun to watch than Drew and Gomes (in LF), be more effective.
But getting Drew and Ortiz back into the lineup is the smart move for now. Last year Ortiz was the best hitter on the club, and the second best wasn't even close. Drew is a proven MLB bat and glove, not the disaster softlaw insists he is. They both bat lefty on a team that doesn't have a lot of great lefty bats.
Bradley and Iglesias now know, as the FO knows, they can contribute to the big club every day and every game. It's only a matter of time before they return, probably for good. As countless commentators have said, these things will work themselves out.