Replacing Jason McLeod Won’t Be Easy for Red Sox

Replacing Jason McLeod Won't Be Easy for Red Sox Red Sox manager Terry Francona will be answering questions on this offseason. Send questions to his mailbag.

Here’s his sixth installment.

Former Red Sox scouting director Jason McLeod will be the Padres’ new assistant GM. Who is in the running to replace him? What kind of skills are necessary for that job?
–Adam, Newton, Mass,

We are all happy for Jason, but replacing him won’t be easy. A big part of our success was our strong drafts, and he was a huge part of that. Seeing Jason representing another team here at the meetings will be strange. He always had a very confident and thorough voice in our meetings. As for replacing him, you are going to have to talk to Theo on that one.

Besides filling the left-field vacancy, what are the Red Sox looking to do at the winter meetings?
–Stacy, Atkinson, N.H.

The winter meetings are always an interesting time. Sometimes, there is a ton of activity, and sometimes, everyone just sits around and waits for something to happen. You just never know! As you alluded to, it will be nice to get the left-field situation taken care of. Then, we can address some of our bench positions and maybe strengthen our staff.

What do you know about Marco Scutaro and his playing style? How do you think he will fit in with the Red Sox? Where do you plan to hit him in the lineup?
–Alex, Morgantown, Fla.

Marco is a solid addition to our ballclub. He is a baseball player. He plays a solid shortstop and knows how to get on base. He can steal an occasional base and is an outstanding baserunner.  He will also hit an occasional home run. I think as the fans of Boston watch him play every day, they will come to appreciate him very much. As for the batting order — I never concern myself too much in December about that. When we get to Florida, and our team is intact, then we can start putting that together.
Why did Jacoby Ellsbury change his number to 2? By the way, what a great player he is. We love to watch him work. It looks easy with him, but we all know all the hard work he must put in to make it look easy.
–Sylvia Garcia, Albuquerque, N.M.

I believe Jacoby wanted number 2 all along. But Brad Mills already had it, and I think, being a young player, he was probably a little hesitant to ask for it. Sometimes, people will sell their number, and I can’t see that working either. Millsie is notoriously cheap!
I have been hearing rumors about who will take on the role of captain after Jason Varitek. I have heard Dustin Pedroia’s name several times and not once heard Kevin Youkilis’ name. Will Youk be considered for the captain spot when the time comes?
–Joe Roberts, Dover, N.H.

We have never had that conversation. We never had a captain before Jason. I think looking for the next captain (if we even have one) is a little premature with Tek still being here. What is important to us is getting leadership from all of those guys you mentioned.

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