With Ryan Sweeney on the disabled list, it's difficult for the Red Sox to put their best defensive lineup out there, but since David Ortiz is also among the missing, it's not impossible. Tonight's move to get the Sox there is Cody Ross as designated hitter, in order to get Ryan Kalish's glove into right field. Given he's a center fielder -- and the fleet of foot Carl Crawford is in left -- that makes for three highly capable defenders in the outfield.
Jarrod Saltalmacchia's defense has improved this year without Tim Wakefield around, but, besides Ryan Lavarnway, there's likely not much difference in the defense of the catchers. Still, after seeing him get quite a few days either off or at DH as of late, it's good to see Salty back behind the plate. Resting him is good, given he's likely to set a career-high for games caught, but he doesn't need to never see the position again. Especially since his bat is a good fit for backstop, not DH.
|BOSTON RED SOX||TEXAS RANGERS|
|Jacoby Ellsbury - CF||Ian Kinsler - 2B|
|Carl Crawford - LF||Michael Young - SS|
|Dustin Pedroia - 2B||Josh Hamilton - CF|
|Adrian Gonzalez - 1B||Adrian Beltre - 3B|
|Cody Ross - DH||Nelson Cruz - RF|
|Jarrod Saltalamacchia - C||David Murphy - LF|
|Will Middlebrooks - 3B||Mike Napoli - C|
|Ryan Kalish - RF||Geovany Soto - DH|
|Mike Aviles - SS||Mitch Moreland - 1B|
Boston is sending the groundballing Aaron Cook against Japanese rookie Yu Darvish tonight, and given the right-handed Darvish has punched out 145 batters in 127 innings -- but also walked 70 hitters, or 4.9 per nine -- you can expect to see a lot of deep counts in Monday's game. The Rangers have a healthy lineup now that Mitch Moreland is back from the DL. That could be bad news for Aaron Cook, who is either giving up grounders or homers as of late, with little in the way of in between.
Then again, the Rangers are playing Michael Young at short, so maybe that's where the saddest events of the evening will occur. And playing Soto at DH instead of catcher is a little weird, too.