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Daily Red Sox Links: Let’s Pick J.D. Martinez’s Jersey Number

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This week started with J.D. Martinez and it will end that way as well. Plus Andrew Benintendi talks slumps, Blake Swihart gets going and Hector Velazquez contributes.

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Even if Alex Cora is going to give up the No. 28 jersey for the Boston Red Sox’s newest free agent addition, that doesn’t necessarily mean that J.D. Martinez is going to take it. I mean, he probably will. I’m not sure why he wouldn’t, but as the resident expert on Red Sox player shirts at Over the Monster, these are the types of things I think about long into the night. So let’s go through the potential options (as chosen by this author) and the meaning behind each one.

28

This is pretty obvious. It’s the number he’s worn since 2014. He wore it during his absolutely best season as a MLB player, as he smashed 45 home runs last season and finished with an OPS of 1.066 last year. Cora didn’t give up the No. 28 just for kicks.

14

But maybe Martinez wants to go back to his roots. This was the number he wore in his first three seasons at the MLB level with the Houston Astros. While his work with the ‘Stros wasn’t exactly wonderful (.251/.300/.387), perhaps nostalgia will win out.

Editor’s note: Of course Jim Rice would have to allow this since his No. 14 is retired.

21 or 8 or 87

When you’re a little leaguer, a lot of times you pick your number based on either your favorite player or some part of your birthday. I don’t know who Martinez’s favorite player is but I do know he was born on August, 21, 1987. Maybe he loves the eighth month of the year. Maybe the No. 21 means more to him than black jack. Maybe 87 doesn’t make him think of a highway in upstate New York. Maybe.

Editor’s note: Carl Yastrzemski would have to give up his retired No. 8 jersey as well.

74

Since Barry Bonds broke the single season home run record, there has been confusion about how to deal with it. Is it a legitimate record? Should an asterisk be put next to it? Is Bonds a Hall of Famer? I’m not here to answer those questions, but if Martinez wants to call his shot by putting the number of home runs he will hit this season on his jersey, I’m all for it.

12

This would be a pretty courageous move since its pretty much impossible for any Boston athlete to be as synonymous with the No. 12 as that guy. You know whom I’m talking about. Just like Larry Bird means 33, Bill Russell means 6, Bobby Orr means 4 and Ted Williams means 9, this number already belongs to a Boston sports legend. I am of course talking about Brock Holt, since he is already No. 12 on the roster.

No matter what number Martinez picks (spoilers: its going to be 28), there’s no doubt that you’ll be seeing it on plenty of people’s backs as the spring and summer go on. I’m personally pulling for 74.

Poll

What number should J.D. Martinez wear?

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    28
    (281 votes)
  • 1%
    14
    (6 votes)
  • 2%
    21
    (9 votes)
  • 1%
    8
    (6 votes)
  • 1%
    27
    (5 votes)
  • 5%
    74
    (19 votes)
  • 2%
    12
    (10 votes)
  • 2%
    Other (throw it in the comments)
    (10 votes)
346 votes total Vote Now

Part of the reason Martinez has not officially selected a number is that his physical, or at least its results, have not become available. (Christopher Smith; MassLive)

No player wants to go through a cold streak, so Andrew Benintendi and Alex Cora have a plan. (David Laurila; FanGraphs)

While the popular way to create a lineup is by varying your batters handedness, Cora believes more in just getting the best bats as many plate appearances as possible. At least right now. (Chad Jennings: Boston Herald)

Blake Swihart smacked a triple during yesterday’s exhibition games. It was a strong way for him to reintroduce himself. (Chad Jennings; Boston Herald)

Speaking of those exhibitions, the Red Sox won both fairly easily. (Peter Abraham; Boston Globe)

In 2017, Hector Velazquez wasn’t a breakout star, but providing options for the rotation is still valuable. (Jake Devereaux; BP Boston)