Quick: What would you do if someone handed you the keys to the 2014 Red Sox? Besides shaking Pedey’s hand and grabbing as much free merchandise out of the storage closest as possible, you’d have some decisions to make. You’d have pressure, too, given that the Sox just won the World Series and all. Several questions face Sox manager John Farrell as the Sox jump into the heart of their spring schedule. What would you do?
Who hits leadoff?
Shane Victorino (pictured), Daniel Nava, and maybe even Grady Sizemore could bat first for the Red Sox this season following the departure of Jacoby Ellsbury. Victorino is the most likely choice, though Nava’s .385 on-base percentage makes him an interesting candidate. On the periphery of the discussion are Jonny Gomes and Dustin Pedroia.
Who plays center?
Another positional battle, and this one also involves Sizemore. Jackie Bradley Jr. (pictured) is the guy the team hopes gets and keeps the job, because his emergence signals a bright future for years to come. Sizemore winning the job would also be a positive story for the team since the Sox took a gamble on him and don’t have much invested there.
What about left?
Jonny Gomes wins games. That’s what everyone says, right? Gomes (pictured) was Farrell’s choice for most of the World Series despite the numbers pointing to Nava. How will time be split this year?
Opening Day starter
It’s Jon Lester, right? The Sox took their time in naming Lester the Opening Day starter last season, waiting until he made his final Grapefruit League start. Lester was great in the World Series, so it should be him, but if contract negotiations get ugly, would starting Clay Buchholz be the first step in moving on with a new ace?
The Brandon Workman question
Brandon Workman will start the season in the bullpen, unless he doesn’t. As Peter Abraham points out, Workman pitched the 8th inning in Game 6 of the World Series, but he may find himself off the 25-man roster to start the year. He’ll be up in due time, but you could make a case he deserves it from the start.
Who fills in for Koji?
Koji Uehara had one of the best seasons of any closer in baseball history last season, but what happens when he pitches a few games in a row? Edward Mujica, who saved 37 games for the Cardinals last season, could fill in, but so could Andrew Miller (pictured), whose 12.5 strikeouts/9 innings in his last two seasons as a reliever are nothing to sniff at.
Pick your Red Sox batting order
Here’s your chance to play Red Sox manager. Click on our “Pick your Red Sox batting order’’ feature, fill out the lineup card and submit it, then see how it compares to the overall reader consensus lineup.