Scott Podsednik’s Role in Red Sox Offense Could Become Permanent Even With Return of Injured All Stars

by abournenesn

Jun 15, 2012

Scott Podsednik's Role in Red Sox Offense Could Become Permanent Even With Return of Injured All StarsEditor's note: is going to tell the story of the 2012 Red Sox in Bobby Valentine’s words. Each game day, we will select the best Valentine quote that sums up the day for the Red Sox.

During the 2011 season, then-35-year-old Scott Podsednik spent his time stuck in the purgatory that is minor league baseball. Splitting his season between Las Vegas, the Toronto Blue Jays affiliate, and Lehigh Valley, of the Philadelphia Phillies, it appeared that the former All-Star's 10-year MLB career was coming to an abrupt close.

But after fighting the widely expected reality of his imminent retirement, Podsednik continued to work in hopes of once again seeing the field at the big league level.

Less than two months into the 2012 season, and donning a different jersey than when he began the year, Podsednik was finally on his way back to the majors. The Red Sox, who acquired him from the Phillies in late April, had recalled the outfielder as players began to drop like flies from their roster. And just as Podsednik had worked so hard to return to the majors, he was just as determined to stay there.

In 17 games with Boston this season, Podsednik has been on an absolute tear. The 36-year-old is hitting a scorching .382 with one home run and six RBIs. He's also swiped six bases, which ranks second only to Mike Aviles' eight on the Red Sox roster.

Podsednik has been a major catalyst for the Red Sox during his stint, especially in the absence of such on-base enthusiasts and speedsters like Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury. But even with those guys in mind, the streak that Podsednik has put together is notable enough that he may have even earned an everyday role alongside both of them upon their return.

While the Red Sox offense, as a whole, has been fairly stagnant over their past 10 games, Podsednik has actually been as hot as just about anyone in the majors. Podsednik is 11-for-28 — a .392 clip — over the past 10 outings and has even become a mainstay atop the Boston lineup, batting leadoff eight times.

So, on a day in which Podsednik recorded another multi-hit game, his seventh this season, the Boston bats went silent. The Red Sox managed just five hits on Friday and were unable to score a single run during their 3-0 loss at the hands of the Cubs.

Manager Bobby Valentine remained optimistic after the game, hoping Podsednik's hot streak would be contagious among his players.

"There's no way of really diagnosing it," Valentine said of the offensive struggles. "They'll get hot. they're good hitters, and you can't keep good hitters down very long."

Podsednik is just the most recent example of a Red Sox hitter heating up. But while many bats have cooled over the 64-game season, Podsednik looks to be asserting himself as a consistent presence in the Sox order. His defense has been stellar in place of Ellsbury out in center field, and his bat has been as loud as any leadoff man in the league over the past month.

While the Boston lineup continues to search for its identity and attempts to climb out of the wretched hole they've dug, Podsednik will just be putting the ball in play and getting himself on the basepaths ready to move.

It's that exact attitude and commitment that has already solidified Podsednik's place on the Red Sox roster and could even keep him in the starting lineup when the injured stars return.

He's certainly earned it.

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