FanPost

But Can He Pitch? Ranking 2015 Sox Position Players by Pitchability

As of this moment, 15 position players are within one player of a roster spot on the 2015 Red Sox. What's astounding to me: not a single one of those 15 players has thrown a single big league inning. The days of Darnell McDonald, Mike Carp, and (oof) Nick Green taking the mound for the Sox have ended.

This would seem to be all the more concerning on a team that lacks a true ace, and thus will likely be relying heavily on the bullpen. To know that we can't fall back on Darnell McDonald after Junichi Tazawa has thrown his 4th consecutive inning is frightening, like finding out John Henry is unwilling after all to eclipse the $189MM luxury tax with question marks at SP.

And so, as a member of Red Sox nation, I've made it my civic duty to compile a ranking for John Farrell of current Red Sox position players, ranked 1-15, who would be best fit to enter the game in the 16th inning when all else fails.

1. Christian Vazquez. Pitching doesn't involve picking up a bat. Vazquez should be all right. Aside from being the catching Gold Glove- elect for the next 10 years, Vazquez's uncanny knack for catching baserunners at twice pitching distance betrays both the speed and accuracy needed out of an emergency reliever.

2. Brock Holt. Here's hoping Sean Coyle gets traded so as not to challenge the magnificent \o/ for the utility slot. With less depth at SP than any other position, it is recommended Farrell tab \o/ as the "designated interleague play starter," as given his prowess at tackling any position in the past, he certainly can't NOT outpitch Buchholz and obviously will outhit him.

3. Bryce Brentz. Brentz would seem the ideal candidate to enter the game when the bullpen is shot. Even despite never having thrown a big league inning, son of a gun Brentz has been picked out by minor league scouts for his rifle arm (and rifle'd leg). His placement below Holt is due only to the fact that Brock seems to have more control, that is, he knows when to keep his gun in his Holtster.

4. Jackie Bradley Jr. The man threw a baseball further than the combined distance of all of Allen Craig's 2014 hits.*** Respect. I would assume he can throw 60 feet 6 inches with relative ease. That is, unless there's "coachability issues" we're not aware of.

6. Ryan Hanigan. Unbeknownst to us all, nearly all of Ryan Hanigan's career has been an espionage mission for mafia boss John Henry. His goal? To document ALL of the Rays' batters and report all findings back to HQ: Fenway Park. Now back from undercover, Hanigan should be able to use his manifesto to blank the Raycists, at least for an inning or two

7. Allen Craig. When you can get double the hitting production from a pitcher (Bumgarner) than from any player X, the logical assumption is that player X must be: wait for it; a PITCHER! I am convinced that Allen Craig will continue to prove to us in 2015, mostly with his bat, that he is actually a pitcher in disguise. A sort of reverse Rick Ankiel,

8. Dustin Pedroia. There seem to be a lot of fickle Red Sox fans who have turned on Pedroia for his injury-induced poor performance in 2014. I am not one of those, but I know one thing: the last time a Muddy Chicken pitched for the Red Sox, Allen Webster was being batted around by the entire American League in a MISERABLE 2014. Lesson from the Webster Era: avoid chickens pitching when possible.

9. Mike Napoli. Napoli has an undetected edge over the rest of this group, that is, the ability to conceal a baseball in his beard. While this won't push him past naturals like Vazquez, his potential for a deceitful delivery may inspire a Chris Davis-like inning or two in a pinch.

10. Daniel Nava. Nava might've been more effective in a platoon-pitcher role with Jonny Gomes, with Nava throwing with his right hand and Gomes throwing with his left hand simultaneously. Without Gomes, Nava is merely a replacement level position player pitching.

11. Hanley Ramirez. We're told that radiation from close exposure to Clayton Kershaw's fastball may have rubbed off on HanRam. Kershaw radiation, while brilliantly effective nearly all season, is to be avoided at all costs during the playoffs.

12. Rusney Castillo. It'd be extremely lazy to call Rusney a "Cuban missile" and suggest based on that he'd have good velocity and should be able to blow by -or through- opposing hitters. Castillo is a Cuban missile, and, as a missile, likely has good velocity and should be able to blow by -or through- opposing hitters.

13. Mookilis Betts. Unless we're playing the Rays, the goal of a game of baseball is to defeat, not embarrass the other team. Towards that end, Mook will stay in right field to give the other team a chance.

14. Pablo Sandoval. The concern with The Sandoval is that he might forfeit the 10 inch height advantage a pitcher gets by standing on the mound purely by weighing down the entire mound and collapsing it inward. It is for this reason I'd only recommend The Sandoval for pitching in Yankee Stadium, Progressive Field, Miller Park, or on any other field that is used to supporting C.C Sabathia.

10. Xander Bogaerts. One of the most important Things We Learned in 2014: NEVER ask Xander Boagerts to switch positions. It has become apparent that Xander's batting is like our family Wi-Fi service: the further away from the dining room (shortstop position) you get, the slower the service becomes. Let's keep Bogaerts in the dining room and connected to WiFi.

15. Shane Victorino. Pitching involves going from a standing (restful) position to an extended position in which the dominant arm is moved behind the pitcher's head and then rapidly forward, all the while moving one's legs rapidly and landing on one rather abruptly. There is a fear among industry sources that in doing so, Mr. Victorino might spontaneously combust, or, at least, suffer consecutive 60-day DL stints.

HONORABLE MENTION: Tom Brady. Brady's seeming effectiveness at doctoring the game balls (see: Ballghazi) makes him a perfect counter for the Yankees on days we face Pineda.

***fact check: this probably isn't true

Now what do y'all think? With a used-up bullpen in the 17th inning of a one-game wild card playoff, who do you tab?