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Time for a move at third base?

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  August 9, 2013 04:23 PM

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. The Red Sox have played nine games since trading Jose Iglesias. They're 6-3 and have averaged 5.6 runs. So it would be a little hyperbolic to suggest that the lack of production at third base is some sort of crucial issue. It's not. It's not as though Iglesias was hitting much before the deal.

Nonetheless, Brock Holt and Brandon Snyder are 5 for 33 (.151) with four runs, three RBIs, and two extra-base hits since the trade. They are hitless in their last 14 at-bats.

Don't blame Holt and Snyder. Holt is a middle infielder best suited for a utility role, and Snyder is a bench player now with his third organization in three years. They are what they are.

There's an equation the Red Sox have to figure out here sometime soon. Can Xander Bogaerts play third base in the majors after seven games of experience at the position at Triple A? Or should the Red Sox bring Will Middlebrooks back?

Bogaerts is the best prospect in baseball, and the Sox do not want to throw him into the heat of the pennant race unless he is ready. They also believe Middlebrooks is an important part of the future and are committed to the idea of him smoothing out some rough edges in the minors.

But the valid priorities of player development usually take a back seat to the needs of the major league team, and right now, there's a need.

Whether it's Bogaerts or Middlebrooks, the Red Sox need a third baseman. At this point, either represents a significant upgrade that would come at no cost. The reward far outweighs any risk.

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