The Boston Red Sox have been playing pretty good baseball as of late, recently swiping two out of three from the American League All-Star team otherwise known as the Kansas City Royals. The Sox scored a whopping twenty-four runs in the series, while allowing just twelve to the Royals.
A lot was going right for Boston. The pitching was good, with the exception of Rick Porcello‘s bad outing, the bats came alive, and the defense was solid. In Sunday afternoon’s game,the Sox accumulated thirteen runs on sixteen hits. Three were from Mookie Betts who fell a single shy of the cycle. Another three were added by Brock Holt‘s two doubles and a triple. Xander Bogaerts collected three doubles while his double-play partner Dustin Pedroia had two two base knocks of his own. Hanley Ramirez hit his fifteenth homerun of the year then watched while David Ortiz hit his tenth.
The Sox are hitting right now, and nobody is complaining about that. Betts is starting to catch fire, improving his average by 40 points and OPS by 104 points since the 12th. Holt and Pedroia are staying consistent, if not getting better. Bogaerts is still playing solid on both sides of the ball and he’s driven in 10 runs in the last 17 games. Ortiz seems to have gotten some of his power back and Hanley is hitting over .300 so far this month.
Holt will probably be playing third for at least the next couple of games due to Pablo Sandoval‘s injured foot, and that is also something nobody is really complaining about. However, after Pablo is nursed back to health, where do you put Holt? The Brockstar is playing too good to not be an everyday fixture in the lineup. The Sox have done a good job fitting him in and giving guys days off here and there with the versatile Holt playing a different position every night. If I were John Farrell, instead of moving him all over the diamond every game, Brock Holt would be my everyday right fielder.
Yes, it is a good thing to give players a day off here, as Holt does, but this lineup is starting to hit and hit well. There should be consistency within it. Every regular starter should come to the park each day expecting to be in the starting lineup. Holt is better than a utility player and he deserves to have a fixed position on this team.
That being said, outfielder Rusney Castillo needs to be sent down to Triple-A Pawtucket. While with the PawSox this year, Castillo played in eighteen games batting .293/.341/.440 before his call-up. In seventy three at bats with Boston so far this season, Castillo is batting .233/.263/.288 while playing defense comparably to Hanley Ramirez. OK, maybe that was a bit extreme, but Castillo’s glove is not something to be prized, for now anyways.
When the Sox inked the 5-foot 8-inch Cuban outfielder to a $72.5 million contract last season, they thought he was going to help carry this team. And Castillo very well could still do that, but he needs time to develop. The twenty-seven year-old’s baseball instincts are just not as sharp as they should be. He’s found running into outs, dropping fly balls, and when they do land in his glove, he throws to the wrong base.
Castillo has shown us that he is capable of being a good big league player. But, the Red Sox are not helping in his development by having him play a couple of times a week. He can get regular everyday at bats and develop his fielding and baseball IQ down in Triple-A. He’s not doing anything to help the team win ballgames. They signed him for seven years, so what is the rush? Send him down and once he gets comfortable, you can bring him back up. Until then, Brock Holt should be the starting right fielder.