BOSTON (CBS) – So many problems with the Red Sox right now, where to begin?
98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger & Massarotti show discussed what’s plaguing the defending World Champions and offered their solutions to start the show on Monday.
Problem: Leadoff hitter
“I don’t like [Dustin] Pedroia at the top of the order. I think it hurts them on multiple levels. I’m not saying he can’t hit leadoff — he can. He can hit just about anywhere. But they have problems on this team with run production, particularly as they get to the middle and bottom of their order,” said Mazz.
Solution: Shake up the batting order
“At this stage, if I’m [manager] John Farrell, I’m rolling the dice. I’m trying to make some sort of change at the top of the lineup that can lengthen my batting order a little bit, allow me to put Pedroia back in the three-hole and maybe give me depth in the six, seven area. Now that Will Middlebrooks is out, maybe you try Brock Holt leading off. Give it a shot. If you look at his history in the minor leagues he hits for average and gets on base. That’s about all he does with any consistency. Try that, or Xander Bogaerts. Try him at the top of the lineup. He’s been getting on base consistently since the beginning of the year. He’s drawn a lot of walks and his on base is high. … Make him your leadoff guy! You’re a quarter of the way in!” said Mazz.
Problem: Jackie Bradley Jr. can’t hit
Solution: Don’t change a thing
“He’s hitting at the bottom of the lineup, so ride it out. He’s gonna have some difficulty. That’s gonna take a while there because it didn’t happen overnight with Jacoby Ellsbury either. Leave Bradley down there, and do what you gotta go later in the game — if you need to hit for him, hit for him. Send [Jonny] Gomes up there to get the at bat,” said Mazz.
Problem: Will Middlebrooks is on the disabled list again
“Can the freakin’ guy stay on the field? And when he does, can he produce? Do you ever get both?” asked Mazz.
“It doesn’t feel like it,” added Felger.
Solution: See how he comes back from the DL, consider him in a trade deal and maybe you call up PawSox 3B Garin Cecchini to see how he performs.
“They’re now three years in with this guy. At the beginning of the year I said I didn’t want to trade Middlebrooks in the winter and I want to ride it out a little bit and see how it goes. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m getting closer. This injury thing is really starting to bug the crap out of me. There’s always something with this guy,” said Mazz.
“I’m adding these things up and the Red Sox are now in the middle of May. Garin Cecchini is hitting .300 in the minor leagues and his on base percentage is almost .400 at Triple-A. Cecchini is a candidate to come up. Middlebrooks has done nothing here in what will now amount to the first two months. How much more rope do you give this kid?” asked Mazz.
Problem: Mike Carp & A.J. Pierzynski are complaining about playing time
Solution: Shut up!
“Mike Carp is complaining about playing time? And the fact that he wasn’t notified? Oh my god. Really? Hey Mike, here’s a little reminder in case you forgot…you suck! You’re not good. You’re on the bottom of the roster and you’ve been on the bottom of the roster on every team you’ve played on in Major League Baseball. You’re not good. That’s why you don’t play everyday and this is why sometimes you might not get notified,” said Felger.
“Whatever the manager says goes. Shut your mouth and play. That’s how I look at it. The Carp thing? Come on! Like he’s Lou Gehrig Jr. or something!” joked Mazz.
Despite all these issues the Red Sox, 20-23, are just three games back in the AL East. Listen below for the full discussion: