Like just about every other team in Major League Baseball, the Boston Red Sox have a few questions to answer before they take the field for Opening Day.
Among them: Who will be the team’s new leadoff hitter?
The Red Sox struggled to find a consistent leadoff hitter in 2022, watching Rob Refsnyder, Tommy Pham, Jarren Duran, Trevor Story and Christian Arroyo all filter in and out of that spot during Kiké Hernández’s time on the injured list. And even when Hernández found his way back into the lineup, it was an inexact science trying to find success.
That won’t stop Boston from running it back in 2023, however.
“I don’t see ourselves having a (Mookie) Betts, 156 times being the leadoff guy,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Friday, per Ian Browne of MLB.com. “We’ll mix and match. At one point, obviously, I would love to have structure in that end, but I think we got a lot of guys that can do the job.”
Given those comments from Cora, it’s a wonder who exactly he was talking about, right?
Just kidding, he revealed who will fill the leadoff spot and when they will do it.
Verdugo and Triston Casas will get the call against righties, while Arroyo and Hernández will serve the role against lefties, Cora said, according to Browne.
The first of those leadoff hitters might have been revealed Friday, as Cora hinted that his spring training lineup for a matchup against the Atlanta Braves could be the one he uses on Opening Day.
You can watch both games live on NESN or with NESN 360.