J.D. Martinez batted second during parts of the 2020 Major League Baseball season, but it doesn’t appear that will be the case come 2021.
The Boston Red Sox designated hitter had a down year and was shifted back to the middle of the lineup. But players should be allowed to access the video room more than in 2020, which should help Martinez at the plate.
But despite that, manager Alex Cora is keeping Martinez away from the No. 2 spot.
“The way we want to play, we want those good baserunners in front of him,” Cora told reporters Tuesday. “When he hits the ball in the gap, they score from first. Hitting J.D. second was a decision the organization made last year, but for me, itâs like, âJ.D. gets on base by a walk, itâs going to take a while for him to score.â Nothing against him. Heâs not getting paid to steal bases or score from first.”
With Andrew Benintendi now with the Kansas City Royals, it’s fair to wonder just who will bat leadoff when the Red Sox open their 2021 season at Fenway Park.
It could be Alex Verdugo, who did well when given that opportunity last year. KikÃ© Hernandez, who homered in Boston’s win against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, also could be an option.
“Weâll see how it plays out,” Cora said. “We have a lot of options with the people that we have. One thing for sure, itâs going to be a deep lineup. The top third is going to be very athletic, the middle of it is going to be all run-producers and the other ones are going to hit the ball out of the ballpark. Weâre going to attack you in different ways with the same lineup which is intriguing. It should be cool to see.”
It certainly will be interesting to see what the lineup eventually will be.
The Red Sox are set to welcome the Baltimore Orioles on April.