Bobby Dalbec doesn’t exactly fit the mold of your typical nine-hole hitter.
But that very well might be his spot in the lineup at times this season.
The hard-hitting corner infielder is the favorite to be the Opening Day first baseman for the Boston Red Sox. He impressed last season with his bat, and that’s carried into spring training, where he’s already mashed a pair of grand slams already in Grapefruit League action.
So why, then, is he hitting at the bottom of the lineup?
“In coach pitch, when you?re five or six, you only get 10 hitters an inning, right?” Sox manager Alex Cora said Friday on MLB Network Radio, via MassLive’s Chris Cotillo. “You put the big boy to hit 10th, he gets the extra-base hit and you score three. That?s what we?re doing with Bobby.”
To be fair, this Red Sox lineup can mash, too. Dalbec doesn’t hit for average enough to lead off or hit second, and J.D. Martinez, Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts already have the 3-5 spots locked down. But that still leaves Hunter Renfroe/Franchy Cordero, as well as Marwin Gonzalez, based on who is in the lineup.
Obviously, it’s a good problem to have. If the Red Sox are able to get that kind of production from the bottom of the lineup, they’ll be cooking with gas.