Red Sox

Red Sox will give Kyle Schwarber ‘a look’ at first base

Schwarber, who Boston acquired on Thursday, has no experience playing first base.

Kyle Schwarber hasn't played first base before. The Red Sox are going to change that. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Kyle Schwarber was the Red Sox’s biggest addition at the trade deadline.

The slugger helps fill a need in Boston’s lineup as a power-hitting left-handed hitter. Schwarber’s got 25 homers this season, which would be the second-most on the Red Sox, and has a .340/.570/.910 slash line that helped him earn his first All-Star nod this season.

While Schwarber helps in the lineup, the left fielder’s fit isn’t the most ideal on the field. Alex Verdugo and J.D. Martinez have occupied left field this season for Boston, leaving to question where Schwarber will play.

The one position the Red Sox could certainly improve is first base. Bobby Dalbec, who’s started at first base for the Red Sox for much of the season, is among the bottom of baseball in bWAR this season at -1.2.

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Schwarber could be the much-needed upgrade the Red Sox need at first base. While Schwarber’s never played first base, Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom is going to give him a try.

“In a perfect world, we would’ve been able to get someone with Kyle’s impact who also has a lot of first base experience,” Bloom told reporters Friday. “He doesn’t. We are going to take a look at him over there. He’s excited to do it.”

One of the traits Schwarber brings to Boston outside of his hitting power is his versatility. Prior to tearing his ACL in 2016, Schwarber played catcher a fair amount for the Cubs and in the minors.

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“This is someone I would not bet against to really do anything that he sets his mind to on a baseball field,” Bloom said of Schwarber’s potential at first base. This is a guy who blew out his knee and hit .400 in the World Series in the same year. So, I wouldn’t bet against him.”

The ideal scenario for the Red Sox would be Schwarber having success playing first base while continuing his strong season at the plate. If the first base experiment doesn’t go as hoped though, Bloom is still excited for what Schwarber can bring to the Red Sox.

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“We think the impact with the bat is huge and there’s going to be a lot of ways for him to help us,” Bloom said. “It’s going to allow us to feature much stronger lineups, especially against right-handed pitching. It’s going to allow us to take care of our guys down the stretch, give more days off when needed to some of the guys we’ve been leaning on. It’s going to deepen our bench when he’s in there and when he’s not.

“If we get where we’re trying to go, it’s a weapon we can really, really leverage in very important games at the end. We’re excited to see what working with him at first base is going to bring, but we really like the impact even without that.”

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Schwarber is currently on the injured list due to a hamstring strain but is expected to return in early August.

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