BOSTON (CBS) — All that chatter about Mookie Betts playing some second base in the World Sereis may have been for naught.
That’s because rather than throw Betts into a starting role in the infield for the first time in four years, Red Sox manager Alex Cora is more likely to just start Jackie Bradley Jr. on the bench, according to MLB.com’s Ian Browne.
Martinez is a downgrade defensively for an outfield that normally features Betts, Bradley and Andrew Benintendi. But Martinez’s bat is too powerful to remove from the lineup, and Cora clearly isn’t sold on Betts changing positions.
“We’ll talk about the matchups and we go from there. Andrew started swinging the bat well, too, and that’s good,” Cora said, per Browne. “I’ve been saying all along, it’d be fun for the three guys [Betts, Benintendi and Martinez] to get hot together. They don’t have too much time to do that, so hopefully they do it. But we’ll talk about it.
“[The Dodgers] hit a lot of fly balls, but Mookie’s an elite center fielder, too. J.D. we’ll put in a spot, he’ll make plays, and Andrew has been great on defense. We lose something defensively, but we’ll see how we go.”
Martinez entered Wednesday night’s Game 2 with a .343 postseason batting average, two home runs, 11 RBIs, and a 1.016 OPS. Benintendi recorded a four-hit game in the World Series opener on Tuesday to get his postseason average to .302 with a .757 OPS.
Bradley, despite the three game-changing hits that helped him win ALCS MVP, entered Wednesday with a .161 batting average and .753 OPS.
The series shifts to Los Angeles for Games 3, 4 and 5 from Friday through Sunday. With the pitcher’s spot in the lineup and the multiple lineup changes it necessitates throughout a game, it’s likely that Cora will end up employing Bradley at some point in those games.