Alex Cora is done experimenting with the leadoff spot.
The Boston Red Sox manager announced Mookie Betts, not Andrew Benintendi, will be the leadoff hitter for the remainder of the season. Betts normally batted first in 2018, but Cora announced prior to the start of the year that Benintendi would hit from there, as well.
But Benintendi struggled in the first at-bat of the game though, hitting .081 in 43 chances this season.
Cora told reporters of the change ahead of Boston’s game against the New York Yankees on Saturday.
“We ask players to make adjustments and the way things are going, the way things we felt offensively — it’s not about at-bats with men on,” Cora said, via WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. “We felt there are certain things we were able to do last year offensively, that combo that way, that this year it’s not possible because we have that guy hitting second.
“I know people are getting caught up in Benny leading off and all that. He was 2-for-whatever. But even when he’s getting on, they had that guy behind him and it’s kind of like, should we run? How are we going to handle this? And we like to play fast, we like to run,” Cora added. “Everybody knows it so it’s not a secret. I do feel that this way it opens up a few things for us offensively to get going. Just relying on the home run or not putting pressure on the opposition and I think this way we can do it.”
Betts historically has good numbers as the leadoff man, and with the Sox in the midst of a three-game losing streak and 8 1/2 games back of the American League East’s first-place Yankees, it looks as if Cora is going back to what’s been working.
Maybe this is the “something” the team needs in order to get back on track.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images