What is John Farrell’s biggest weakness as manager?

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 21: Manager John Farrell #53 of the Boston Red Sox signals to the bullpen for a pitching change during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on August 21, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
John Farrell signals to the bullpen for a pitching change during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians. –Jason Miller/Getty Images

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I know you think John Farrell deserves some credit for the Red Sox’ success, but Monday’s loss was a classic case of why so many fans can’t stand him. Matt Barnes in the eighth inning? Brock Holt at first base? What is he thinking? That’s not my question, though. I want you to tell me what his biggest weakness as a manager is. No defending him today, Finn – Jimmy J.

It’s funny, in a micro sense, I kind of understand some of what he was trying to do last night, even though virtually all of it it backfired. I think he avoided using Brandon Workman in the eighth because they were hoping to buy him an extra day of rest – a smart thing to do given his injury history. Obviously, it didn’t work out that way when they turned to him in the ninth.

Holt at first is generally a lousy idea. But with Moreland a late scratch and Hanley being Hanley, there weren’t a lot of other options there.

In the macro sense, though, it’s troubling. Farrell has players he trusts for no apparent reason. Holt is a fan-favorite, but he is not a particularly good player.  (He has a .494 OPS this year and has always been a spotty fielder.) Matt Barnes, who is terrible on the road, is another. Farrell loves to lean on him for some reason. If Farrell is trying to get these guys right, that’s one thing. But the fear, and it’s a viable one, is that he actually believes Holt and Barnes are players he can count on in the postseason. When he manages a game like he did last night, it feels like a harbinger of a mismanaged playoff game to come.


But to answer the question, his biggest weakness isn’t bullpen management. It’s faith in bottom-of-the-roster players who don’t deserve it. But what do you guys say? Let me know on Twitter or join the conversation on Facebook.

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