The Boston Red Sox have some decisions to make before Sept. 1, and the most intriguing one involves what they’ll do with their 21-year-old super prospect.
Yoan Moncada has risen through the team’s minor league ranks and isÂ thriving for Double-A Portland. Given the recent success of former Portland teammate Andrew Benintendi, Moncada could be a strongÂ candidate to make Boston’s roster when it expands to 40 players Thursday.
But the Red Sox are wary of calling up Moncada just to have him sit on the bench, and Boston’s crowded infield could make it difficult for the Cuba native to find the field. Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski discussed the dilemma Monday inÂ a radio appearance on WEEI during the NESN/WEEI Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon.
âFirst of all, if youâre going to bring a guy like that up, you want to make sure he has a chance to play some,â Dombrowski said, via WEEI.com.Â “It doesnât do you much good if youâre going to bring him up and he just sits and doesnât play. … For example, when Benintendi came up, he played. We put him right out there in left field.
“Thatâs one thing with Moncada. … I wouldnât let that stop him from being brought up if he was going to play. But those are the conversations that we still need to have over the next day. Weâve talked a lot of generalities.â
Manager John Farrell hinted Sunday that Moncada could be employed as a pinch runner. But Dombrowski appears skepticalÂ of thrusting the 21-year-old into high leverage situations on the basepaths.
“Heâs going to steal a lot of bases at the big league level. But heâs learning that art at the upper-levels,” Dombrowski said. “He hasnât stole as many bases at Double-A as he did in A-ball. In A-ball his speed just took over. Youâre working with him, but he hasnât stolen quite as many bases yet at the Double-A level.”
Moncada clearly has a bright future, but Dombrowski’s comments indicate the Red Sox might hesitate to call him up this season unless the situation is right.
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