Re: WEEI's Alex Speier comments on Red Sox 'gamble up the middle' if they don't re-sign Drew
posted at 1/3/2014 10:57 AM EST
Yeah, he did "better"... better than his terrible start, but he still lost his job to a guy who hit .250 in the regular season and had just about no 3B experience (Bogey).
This was after already losing his job to another guy who never played 3B before (Iggy).
I keep hearing how much better he did after returning from his demotion, but clearly it wasn't good enough to even get Farrell to sit Drew vs LHPs.
Yes, he hit .276 with an .805 OPS his last 41 games, but he hit .227/.696 his last 83 PAs, .195/.580 his last 42 PAs, and .158/.632 his last 19 PAs of the regular season. He then hit .160 with a .490 OPS in 28 post season PAs. These are small sample sizes, but when you factor in the poor fielding in 2013, there is no way Middy can be viewed as a sure bet solid 3Bman for 2014.
I'm glad we have Cecchini on the quick rise.
To say that Middlebrooks has been a streaky hitter is an understatement. Who's had his ups and downs in the field, but he's not a butcher with the glove either.While I would agree that he's not a sure bet to be our everyday 3B. Likely won't be if the Sox resign Drew. I don't have a problem with the Sox opening the season with him at the hot corner.
I don't either, but I wish we had a guy like B Ryan as our back-up SS, just in case. Maybe I am underestimating Herrera's skillset, but with JBJ taking over for Ellsbury and only Victorino as his back-up, and Bogey taking over for Drew, one more big question mark just adds to the list of things that all need to go right for us to seriously compete for another ring.
I like our team now as constructed. I'd look to move Dempster to allow more flex to add a piece or two later, but our team is starong, balanced, and deep.
I view Middlebrook's situation in 2014 much like Reddick's in 2011 where Josh was given the opportunity to once and for all lay claim to the everyday RF job, while he proved himself worthy with the glove, was deamed expendable because he never fully embraced the Red Sox hitting phylosophies and was then traded to Oakland. The parallel's are similar in terms of both of them being free swingers that lack plate discipline and command of the strike zone. Which is at the heart of why both have such large swings in productiion from month to month and less than strikeout to walk ratios....It is the the raw power and bat speed that both posses that'll keep them in contention to make a big league club, if either of them can find some consistentcy and prolong the peaks and work thier way out of slumps in more timely manner thus minimizing the valleys both can and will be very productive major league players..."when they're hot their hot, and when they're not, they're...in a word....bad.
Mike Napoli is why you don't give up on a kid like Middlebrooks. Willy Mo Pena is why you stay guarded and ensure that you have a contingency in place if falis to show improvement...
I may be one of the few posters who doesn't mind streaky hitters as long as their overall numbers come out plus. I'm worried that pitchers have learned how to pitch to Middy. I just hope he can adjust accordingly.