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Jack of all trades: An in-depth look at Red Sox players’ versatility 05.27.15 at 12:16 pm ET
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Brock Holt has played six different positions in the field so far this season. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Brock Holt already has played six positions this season. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Versatility is becoming more and more important to a team’s success.

Of the 13 position players on the Red Sox‘ 25-man roster, six have played multiple positions this year, and over the course of their careers 10 have played more than one position.

This movement goes down to the Triple-A level as well. Of the 12 position players on the active Pawtucket roster, nine have played multiple positions this year, many three positions.

“The benefit is the more options the manager has. At the major league level with good players, the better chance the manager has to fill out a deep lineup 162 times a year,” Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said. “If you have a bunch of guys on your roster that are more bound to one position or two, it just gets harder to get through the season and create deep lineups, good matchups, and then it’s also a huge advantage in terms of managing players’ health throughout the season.

“Brock Holt could play seven, eight places on the field theoretically. If there is a time when a player is dragging for whatever reason you can play Holt one day and still give yourself a chance to get good production and not get a drop-off. It might help the team, but also helps the player who gets the day off. There are all sorts of things for a potential benefit.”

The most notable versatile player in the organization is Holt, who has played six positions this year and last year played every position in the field besides catcher and pitcher.

There are others like Mookie Betts who was an infielder until early in the season last year when he was switched to center field, Xander Bogaerts, who added third base to his repertoire in 2013 and played both positions last year, and Hanley Ramirez, who is playing left field after spending his whole career on the left side of the infield.

“It’s huge,” Betts said of being able to play multiple positions. “You get to get in the lineup every day and, like I said, you create value for yourself and the team as well. That’s huge.”

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Read More: ben cherington, Brock Holt, deven marrero, mookie betts
Red Sox lineup: Brock Holt starts in right field 05.06.15 at 3:41 pm ET
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Brock Holt

Brock Holt

In trying to build off of Tuesday night’€™s win against the Rays and take the series win, Wednesday’€™s lineup is just about identical to that of the day before.

Brock Holt will get another look at right field and Allen Craig is still slotted in at left field to fill the void that Hanley Ramirez‘€™s injury has left in the lineup. Craig had one of the Sox’€™ five hits yesterday, the other four belonging to Mike Napoli, David Ortiz and Mookie Betts, who had two solo home runs.

Blake Swihart will be behind the plate again opposite Justin Masterson while the Red Sox face Rays pitcher Alex Colome for the first time.

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

1. Mookie Betts CF
2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
3. David Ortiz DH
4. Mike Napoli 1B
5. Pablo Sandoval 3B
6. Allen Craig LF
7. Brock Holt RF
8. Xander Bogaerts SS
9. Blake Swihart C
Justin Masterson RHP

Read More: Allen Craig, Brock Holt,
Who wants to step up and play right field for the Red Sox? 05.04.15 at 5:31 pm ET
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The Red Sox are searching for someone to step up and claim the starting right field job.

Through the first 25 games the team has had four different players appear at the position — Shane Victorino (12 games), Daniel Nava (9), Allen Craig (5) and Brock Holt (4). Unfortunately for the team, none of the four have done much with their opportunity.

The right field position has combined to hit .128/.240/.174, which is good for the worst average and slugging percentage, as well as the second to worst on-base percentage in all of baseball.

Victorino was getting the majority of the starts, but he was placed on the 15-day disabled list April 25 with a right hamstring strain. Even with his absence, the team still has capable players of performing.

“We feel like it was going to be matchups,” manager John Farrell said of how the team was looking to replace Victorino. “We’€™re still looking for ways to keep Allen Craig in the mix, try to get him going. The guys that we’€™re rotating through there, there’€™s some track records to each. You run with a guy for a while, let them have it, see what they’€™re going to produce. And then, at the same time, trying to keep everyone in the mix as best possible.

“That has been a position where it’€™s certainly open for someone to jump up and take it.”

Victorino will likely rehab with Portland on Friday and Saturday, with the possibility of Sunday as well. He’s eligible to return Friday, but with the team playing on the new turf in Toronto, that was never really an option. All things point to him returning in Oakland a week from Monday.

“It’€™s been a little bit more volatile in terms of who’€™s played there than we anticipated going into the start of the season or would otherwise like,” Farrell said of the right field position. “But trying to get some left-handed production, particularly against right-handed starters. That’€™s where we are.”

Victorino was hitting just .143 before going on the disabled list. Craig has just five hits in 37 at-bats this season (.135) and is striking out in almost 25 percent of his at-bats. Holt got off to a hot start to the year, but has cooled off as he’s 0 for his last 5 and 1-for-14 on the homestand.

With how powerful the Red Sox‘ offense is, having a position batting .128 isn’t going to last long, so despite the number of players vying for the position, it’s out there for the taking.

Read More: Allen Craig, Brock Holt, daniel nava, Shane Victorino
Red Sox lineup: Blake Swihart making major league debut vs. Yankees, Brock Holt starting in RF 05.02.15 at 11:39 am ET
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Blake Swihart

Blake Swihart

Red Sox catching prospect Blake Swihart will make his major league debut Saturday afternoon against the Yankees at Fenway Park. The 23-year-old was called up after Friday’s game when Ryan Hanigan suffered a fractured hand.

“It’s definitely a dream come true,” said Swihart. “This is what I dreamed about as a little kid. It’s exciting, but at the end of the day I am here for these guys too and I have to help this team win.

After Allen Craig started in right field Friday night against left-hander CC Sabathia, Brock Holt will get the start Saturday, as the Yankees will send right-hander Nathan Eovaldi to the mound.

For a complete look at the matchups, click here.

1. Mookie Betts, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Hanley Ramirez, LF
5. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
6. Mike Napoli, 1B
7. Brock Holt, RF
8. Xander Bogaerts, SS
9. Blake Swihart, C
Wade Miley, LHP

Read More: blake swihart, Brock Holt,
Red Sox lineup: Mike Napoli returns, Brock Holt stays in right field 04.29.15 at 2:08 pm ET
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After missing two games with an illness, Mike Napoli returns to the Red Sox lineup in the series finale with the Blue Jays Wednesday night.

Brock Holt gets his third straight start in right field with Shane Victorino on the disabled list.

Third baseman Pablo Sandoval comes into the game swinging as hot of a bat as anyone in the league, as he’s 6-for-7 over the last two games.

Ryan Hanigan will catch Red Sox starter Rick Porcello as the Red Sox lineup will go up against knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.

For an extensive look at the matchups, click here.

1. Mookie Betts, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Hanley Ramirez, LF
5. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
6. Mike Napoli. 1B
7. Brock Holt, RF
8. Xander Bogaerts, SS
9. Ryan Hanigan, C
Rick Porcello, RHP

Read More: Brock Holt, mike napoli,
Brock Holt on MFB: Playing many positions ‘something I enjoy doing’ 04.28.15 at 11:44 am ET
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Brock Holt

Brock Holt

Red Sox utility man Brock Holt joined Middays with MFB Tuesday to talk about the start of the season, and also what it’s like to play as many positions as he does. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Holt was traded to the Red Sox in December of 2012 along with closer Joel Hanrahan. Before coming to the Red Sox he was primarily a middle infielder, but the team turned him into a super utility man last year, as he played every position on the field besides pitcher and catcher.

Playing the number of positions that he does is something he enjoys, and knows how valuable it is to the team.

“I feel like I could start at a lot of different positions,” said Holt. “I am starting to feel more comfortable. The more playing time I get at different positions the more comfortable I’ve become. A lot of people will tell you they’d like to have one position where they go out and work on and play every single day, I’ve actually enjoyed moving around. It’s kind of a blessing in disguise.

“Last year I didn’t expect to move around and play. Obviously I didn’t expect to play — if someone would have told me growing up I would play first base in the big leagues I would have smacked them in the face. It’s something I enjoy doing and it’s helpful. It’s helpful to the team and I understand how valuable it is to have a guy who can move around and help out guys when they need days off and get our big guys some rest when they need it. It’s been a thrill for me.”

Holt has now started at six positions this year — shortstop, center field, third base, second base, right field and left field. He hasn’t committed an error in his last 42 games (40 starts) dating back to August 3, 2014, combining for 145 total chances.

He credits manager John Farrell with giving him advance notice as to where he will be playing in a given game.

“I’ve conditioned myself, but John [Farrell] does a good job of letting us know either the night before, or he’ll send us a text that morning saying where we’ll play or whenever we get to the field before the lineup gets put up he’ll let us know,” said Holt. “He does a good job of keeping us informed and letting us know when and where we’ll play.”

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Read More: Brock Holt,
Red Sox lineup: David Ortiz sits, Brock Holt starts in left in series finale vs. Orioles 04.26.15 at 11:27 am ET
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After falling in extra innings Saturday night, the Red Sox will look to take the rubber match of the weekend series Sunday afternoon in Baltimore against the Orioles.

David Ortiz will get the day off, this after going 0-for-5 in Saturday’s loss.

Hanley Ramirez will take his place as the designated hitter and Brock Holt will get his first start of the season in left field. Allen Craig remains in right field with Shane Victorino on the disabled list. With Ortiz out of the lineup, third baseman Pablo Sandoval slides up to the No. 3 spot in the order.

Sandy Leon will catch Red Sox starter Wade Miley as their lineup will go up against Orioles right-hander Bud Norris.

For an in-depth look at the matchups, click here.

1. Mookie Betts, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
4. Hanley Ramirez, DH
5. Mike Napoli, 1B
6. Brock Holt, LF
7. Allen Craig, RF
8. Xander Bogaerts, SS
9. Sandy Leon, C
Wade Miley, LHP

Read More: Brock Holt, David Ortiz,
Red-hot Brock Holt sits as Red Sox face Orioles 04.25.15 at 3:37 pm ET
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One night after blasting the game-winning three-run homer against the Orioles, Brock Holt finds himself on the bench on Saturday as the Red Sox face the O’s in the middle game of their three-game set.

Xander Bogaerts gets the start at short for the Red Sox, who begin the day tied with the Yankees for first place in the American League East. Also new to the lineup is right fielder Allen Craig, who gets the nod over Daniel Nava with left-hander Wei-Yin Chen on the mound.

Justin Masterson gets the start for the Red Sox. For a look inside the matchups, click here.

Here’s the lineup.

1. Mookie Betts, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Hanley Ramirez, LF
5. Mike Napoli, 1B
6. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
7. Allen Craig, RF
8. Xander Bogaerts, SS
9. Ryan Hanigan, C
Justin Masterson, RHP

Read More: Brock Holt, Red Sox,
Closing Time: Brock Holt’s 3-run homer snaps tie, leads Red Sox over Orioles 04.24.15 at 10:39 pm ET
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Brock Holt

Brock Holt

Through the first 16 games of the season, the Red Sox have made it a habit to capitalize on their opponents mistakes.

Friday was no different, as the Red Sox were given an extra out on a Manny Machado error with two outs in the eighth inning and the next batter, Brock Holt, made him pay with a three-run home run. The homer snapped a 4-4 tie and gave the Red Sox an eventual 7-5 win over the Orioles.

Pablo Sandoval worked a two-out walk and then pinch-hitter Allen Craig’s grounder got by Machado at third, which was ruled an error. Holt then stepped in and belted a three-run home run over the wall in right. It was his first homer of the season.

With a three-run lead, Junichi Tazawa allowed a solo home run to Chris Davis in the eighth, but fortunately it was just a solo home run and then Koji Uehara came on for a scoreless ninth to pick up the save.

It was an up-and-down outing for Red Sox starter Rick Porcello, who made it into the seventh inning, but couldn’t record an out. He allowed the first two batters to reach and was pulled in favor of Craig Breslow. Breslow allowed one of the inherited runners to score, which tied the game at four.

Porcello went six-plus innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits. He walked two and struck out seven. For the first time this season he didn’t eclipse the 100-pitch mark, as he was removed after throwing 91 pitches. He was given a two-run lead going into the fifth, but allowed single runs in the fifth and seventh innings to take a no-decision.

The Red Sox have now won all six series openers this season.

SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Holt. His home run snapped the four-all tie in the eighth inning. He finished the game 2-for-4 and is now hitting .424 on the year.

Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox win:

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Read More: Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Brock Holt, rick porcello
Red Sox pregame: John Farrell on Mookie Betts (.209): ‘His batting average isn’t the reason he’s not in lineup’ 04.18.15 at 3:11 pm ET
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For as red hot as Mookie Betts was to start the homestand and the season, he has cooled off quite a bit in the last three days. He’s is hitless in his last seven at-bats and just 4-for-17 on the homestand. His average has slipped to .209 on the season and facing a tough right-hander in Chris Tillman, with a heavy sinker and good breaking ball, doesn’t figure to be the right medicine to get him better at the plate fast.

Enter Brock Holt. The super utility man, batting .533 (8-for-15 in five games) made his fourth start Saturday, including his second in center. Holt is also 3-for-5 against Tillman while Betts is 1-for-6.

“A way to get Brock in the lineup,” Farrell said. “He has swung the bat well in limited looks against Tillman and our goal, and my personal goal, is to get Brock [in the lineup] and keep him in the mix as much as possible. That’s his role. We try to do that to the best of our abilities and as frequent as possible. We also have a very deep roster. He accepts his role. He excels at it, and the versatility he provides is a real good fit, given David is our everyday DH on our team.

“I think we’ve seen that so far. He’s hit first. He’s hit seventh. He’s hit ninth. What really stood out last year with Brock is that when we put him in a new position he had never played before, he embraced it. He didn’t make too much of it, in terms of the fact that he didn’t have any previous experience there. It wasn’t any big deal to him. It’s almost the same way he goes about his approach at the plate, regardless of his spot in the order.”

As for Betts, Farrell said he’s still very happy with the way the second-year outfielder is swinging the bat of late.

“He’s squared up some balls that have gone for naught and his approach at the plate hasn’t changed,” Farrell said. “His batting average isn’t the reason why he’s not in the lineup today. This is a matchup I like the way it suits us. Mookie has hit into some tough luck at times. That was more evident in the Phillies series. Still, he is our center fielder.”

The Red Sox are also facing a pitcher in Tillman who controls the bases when runners do get on.

“He does a great job of controlling the running game,” Farrell said. “When you look at the combination of pitches he does have, a guy with a sinking fastball and a good top-to-bottom curveball is a rare combination so he’s unique in that way. He’s pitched for a team that has had airtight defense. So that the combination of all that makes him a pretty complete pitcher.” Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Red Sox, Brock Holt, mookie betts,
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