The Red Sox are coming off one very disappointing offensive series in Seattle, but there's no major changes in store for the lineup just yet, it seems. The Sox will stick with the usual bunch (more or less) in the usual order (more or less) as they take on Yovani Gallardo and the Texas Rangers.
|TEXAS RANGERS (16-22)||BOSTON RED SOX (18-20)|
|Shin-Soo Choo - RF||Mookie Betts - CF|
|Elvis Andrus - SS||Dustin Pedroia - 2B|
|Prince Fielder - DH||David Ortiz - DH|
|Adrian Beltre - 3B||Hanley Ramirez - LF|
|Kyle Blanks - LF||Pablo Sandoval - 3B|
|Mitch Moreland - 1B||Mike Napoli - 1B|
|Tommy Field - 2B||Daniel Nava - RF|
|Robinson Chirinos - C||Xander Bogaerts - SS|
|Delino DeShields Jr. - CF||Blake Swihart - C|
|Yovani Gallardo - RHP||Wade Miley - LHP|
Coming off Sunday's loss, it seemed there were lots of calls for a lineup change heading into this series, with lots of attention being paid in particular to Mookie Betts' spot atop it.
Make no mistake, at .221/.287/.389, Betts is not performing the way he was expected to, or doing anything resembling an acceptable job as the leadoff hitter. The guy who's supposed to set the table and light the spark for lineup.
The problem is, nobody else stands out as an obvious candidate to replace him. The Red Sox' problem doesn't lie in the order of the lineup or the sequencing of their hits so much as the mediocrity of the performances contained therein. There are currently four batters who come in above league average on the season: Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, and Brock Holt. Hanley and Sandoval obviously aren't leading off anytime soon, and if you put Pedey in the leadoff spot then you're left with the problem of who bats second.
And no, Brock Holt is not the answer. He's had his yearly insane streak, and if his season line is still feeding off that early surge, he's hitting .194/.242/.355 in May. At least Mookie was going strong up until the west coast trip.
No, if this lineup is going to be made to produce, it's going to take more than a change in the batting order. It's going to need hitters to start producing like we know they can (and the idea that having them take their bases empty at bats at a different time will accomplish that doesn't hold much muster) or, at the more extreme end, roster changes.
Now that that doom and gloom is settled...
First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN, WEEI, and the MLB Network.
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