Ron Roenicke Hints At How Typical Red Sox Lineup Could Look This Season


Feb 28, 2020

Red Sox interim manager Ron Roenicke said earlier in spring training Andrew Benintendi could be the team’s leadoff hitter this season after Boston traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Now, we have a better idea as to who might hit second.

Rafael Devers batted in the No. 2 spot Friday while making his Grapefruit League debut, and Roenicke indicated that also might become the norm when filling out his lineup card during the regular season.

“I don’t know exactly. You tinker with it. Second certainly is a spot he could be,” Roenicke told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla., before the Red Sox faced the Minnesota Twins. “Then you push three and four with Bogey (Xander Bogaerts) and J.D. (Martinez). But we’ll see how it plays out. I think the way he’s become consistent with what he does, I think second makes sense. If Benny continues to look like he’s gonna lead off, then probably second.”

This wouldn’t be anything new for Devers, who appeared in the No. 2 hole for 71 regular-season games in 2019, hitting .334 with 19 home runs, 63 RBIs and a 1.032 OPS across 335 plate appearances in that spot.

The obvious drawback to Devers batting second is both he and Benintendi are left-handed hitters. Thus, Roenicke is keeping an open mind, particularly on days when the Red Sox are facing a left-handed starter.

“I don’t think it’s ideal,” Roenicke said of a Benintendi-Devers tandem atop the lineup versus southpaws. “And that might change if a lefty throws that day. We can flip flop some guys. Maybe (Kevin) Pillar goes up top. But we can look at that.”

Nevertheless, the No. 2 spot in Boston’s lineup could be as important, if not more important, than the leadoff spot this season as the Red Sox piece together their typical lineup after Betts’ departure.

“The numbers prove that the two-spot is huge in your lineup in creating runs,” Roenicke said, while pointing to Mike Trout, who batted second in all 133 of his starts for the Los Angeles Angels last season. “I know it gives you extra at-bats (over the course of the season). Whether it’s 20, 30 extra at-bats in a season by being second versus third. You want them up there more often. So I guess that’s the new way to do it.”

So, don’t be surprised if Boston’s top four goes Benintendi, Devers, Bogaerts and Martinez — in that order — even if eliminates the left-right-left-right element to begin each game. After that group, Roenicke likely will mix and match even more based on performance and the opponent’s starting pitcher.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
Patriots wide receiver Mohamed Sanu
Previous Article

NFL Rumors: Patriots’ Mohamed Sanu To Undergo Offseason Ankle Surgery

Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (22) and Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum
Next Article

NBA Odds: Celtics Not Getting Much Love In Eastern Conference Playoff Picture

Picked For You