There is no bigger question mark for most Red Sox fans in the 2014 lineup. It's a huge question on whether or not in 2014 we'll see the promising young slugger of 2012, or the shell of himself who seemed to be struggling with the lingering effects of a wrist injury (the same injury that derailed much of Jed Lowrie's tenure with the Sox). A healthy and productive slugger would be a huge advantage to an already potent lineup; a slumping Middlebrooks would be like the ghost of Jason Varitek, and would have to worry about the potential emergence of a Garin Cecchini (or even possibly a Ryan Lavarnaway). Hence, it's not surprising to see that Middlebrooks has been moved fairly far down in the lineup, all the way to the seven-spot.
Now, we have just two roster spots left to go in the poll, but rather than going through the trouble of having two more polls, we're going to take care of both of the remaining spots in the lineup now.* Here are your remaining candidates:
- CF: Jackie Bradley Jr.: 0.308/0.414
- C: A.J. Placeholder: 0.286/0.438
- CF: Grady Sizemore: 0.300/0.452 (note: data from 2011)
- C: David Ross: 0.298/0.382 (note: no splits because of small sample size)
So, what we'll do is list both options for the #8 and #9 spots—a set of eight options in total. Once we've finished up the crowdsourced lineup, we'll start to have some more fun. But that will start on Monday—so cast your votes from now until Sunday evening.