John Farrell has spoken publicly about the Red Sox re-signing Stephen Drew, and Xander Bogaerts' role with the team going forward.
It's been a lengthy layoff for Drew, so unsurprisingly Boston's new (and old) shortstop will need some time to get up to speed. To that end, John Farrell suspects it could be a little over a week before Drew actually makes his 2014 debut with the team. The goal will be 25 at bats for Drew in the minors before he makes his way back up to the Red Sox.
Obviously, Bogaerts isn't going to be losing his starting job with the arrival of Drew. Instead, he's just shifting over defensively, making the move to third base where he often played in the 2013 postseason. Still, Farrell says the Red Sox view him as a shortstop in the long term, and to that end he'll still be seeing some time at the position in 2014. The plan is to have Bogaerts start at third base against right-handed pitchers, and then to shift over to shortstop against lefties, presumably opening up room for Will Middlebrooks at third.
While Middlebrooks has struggled at the plate since breaking his wrist in 2012, his numbers against lefties remain fairly impressive. The third baseman still holds a career line of .288/.342/.491 against southpaws, while Drew only hits .235/.291/.390 against them. This seems like a platoon made in heaven, with the only problem being the need to shift Bogaerts back-and-forth defensively.
Still, there are no guarantees. As Brian MacPherson points out, Farrell made several statements suggesting the roster could be in flux in the future. If Will Middlebrooks is still with the team, one has to assume that the Red Sox will take advantage of that ready-made platoon. But there are no guarantees.