I like to pretend that this is Nick Punto making a real mess of the whole fielding thing. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Now that the Red Sox have traded Kevin Youkilis, they should be able to finally set a consistent lineup and move forward with everyone knowing their role. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the first post-Youkilis Red Sox lineup:
|BOSTON RED SOX||TORONTO BLUE JAYS|
|Daniel Nava, LF||Brett Lawrie, 3B|
|Dustin Pedroia, 2B||Colby Rasmus, CF|
|David Ortiz, DH||Jose Bautista, RF|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C||Edwin Encarnacion, 1B|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B||Kelly Johnson, 2B|
|Will Middlebrooks, 3B||Yunel Escobar, SS|
|Cody Ross, RF||Rajai Davis, LF|
|Ryan Kalish, CF||Ben Francisco, DH|
|Nick Punto, SS||J.P. Arencibia, C|
Oh...well...so there's that.
While the replacement of Mike Aviles with Nick Punto isn't so bad given Aviles' struggles ever since April and Punto's remarkably productive 23 June at bats, it's still a bit of a kooky batting order. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is back to batting fourth despite his June struggles, Adrian Gonzalez' resurgence, and Will Middlebrooks' incredible run. Perhaps that's because Henderson Alvarez never strikes anyone out, and that's Salty's major weakness.
Or maybe it's just Bobby being Bobby. Who's to say?