Is third base a hole for the Boston Red Sox? Sabermetrics would indicate they aren’t having a good year at the position. When was the last time they really had a good year at third? 2012 with Will Middlebrooks’ one decent year? But seriously, it seems like the Red Sox found their winning combo there.
They’re playing good baseball as of late, and part of the reason for that is because they’re finally getting some production from third base. Every Red Sox fan and their cousin who hates baseball was surprised when the Red Sox called up Tzu-Wei Lin a couple weeks back, and none of them would’ve predicted light hitting Deven Marrero would be an everyday player either. Yet…. this is what’s working for the Red Sox at the hot corner.
Lin was in Double-A hitting over .300 with an .870 OPS despite really struggling offensively last year. Oh, and he hadn’t been playing any third base this year. Only shortstop. Even so, he’s 9-for-27 with two triples in nine games hitting and has yet to record an error defensively.
When he is in the lineup, the Red Sox are 6-1 and they’re 7-4 in games he has played in. Plus, what other player can say they have a 0.5 WAR in 11 games? That’d be a 7.4 WAR in 162 games — just saying. Is he a 7 win player? Uh. Probably not, but that’s a huge boost and reason to keep playing him. All I’m saying is you should be buying into Linsanity.
The Red Sox are 23-12 when Marrero starts and 30-17 when he plays. So pretty much, they’re exactly a .500 team when he doesn’t play. That would make sense. He’s got a respectable .965 fielding percentage at third and is 13-for-41 in his last 14 games (.317 batting average, .784 OPS). Plus, he’s batting over .300 against lefties, so there’s definitely value here.
So yeah, no need for Pablo Sandoval or Jhonny Peralta. Just accept that this Pablo thing isn’t gonna work out.
If Brock Holt comes back, great. But he might go back to his role of super utility guy — if there’s even room for him on the roster. The Red Sox are winning with his unconventional setup. Don’t need anything messing that up.