The departure of Chris Young left the Red Sox without a regular fourth outfielder. But as it turns out, they’ve found their guy for that spot: J.D. Martinez.
Though the Red Sox’ new free-agent addition will almost always slot into the designated hitter spot in the lineup, a new report suggests that he will at times fill in as a reserve outfielder behind Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts. According to Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston, Martinez will “get some outfield time” and that was an “important element” in his agreement to sign with Boston.
The slugger’s ability to play left or right field would allow Benintendi or Bradley to rest more against lefties, which could also slide Mitch Moreland’s left-handed bat into the lineup and shift Hanley Ramirez to DH.
Martinez In The Outfield?
Martinez isn’t exactly a reliable defensive outfielder; he posted a minus-13.1 “defensive runs above average” in 2017, according to FanGraphs. But the possibility is at least there for him in the event of injuries or days off for their regular outfielders, and he also won’t necessarily disappear from the lineup when the Red Sox lose the DH to play in National League parks.
— By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.