Alex Cora Explains Masataka Yoshida’s Spot In Red Sox Batting Order

'I think it's very important'


Mar 26, 2023

Upon Masataka Yoshida joining the Red Sox, many thought the Japanese outfielder would become Boston’s new leadoff hitter.

But when the Sox open their 2023 season Thursday against the Baltimore Orioles, Yoshida won’t be the first hitter Alex Cora sends to the batter’s box at Fenway Park.

Yoshida is in line to start his first season with Boston as the club’s cleanup hitter. At 5-foot-8 and 176 pounds, Yoshida doesn’t feature the typical stature of a middle-of-the-order hitter, but he carries a big bat and has superb plate discipline. And for Cora, it makes sense to keep the 29-year-old in a familiar batting order spot.

“Let him be,” Cora recently told reporters, per “I think it’s very important. To do something he hasn’t done before in a new setting and trying to adjust to everything that’s going on (is too much). I think he looks pretty good hitting behind (Justin Turner). As of now, that’s the way we’re thinking, that’s what we’re probably doing.”

As for the aforementioned leadoff spot, Cora plans on using a rotating cast based on the opponent’s starter. Alex Verdugo, Triston Casas, Kiké Hernández and Christian Arroyo all are expected to see time atop the Red Sox batting order.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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