As the Red Sox and their Nation have staggered through the first half of the post World Series victory season, we have found ourselves casting our lonely eyes to anything, or anyone, that may represent good news. Ironically, those eyes have collectively been drawn to a 21 year old, named “Mookie”. If you are not of a certain age, or just not enough of a Sox fan to understand the irony, well, I’m not going to take the time to explain it. Trust me, it is very ironic. But right about now, Boston fans couldn’t care if his nickname was “Babe” or “Bucky”, as long as he keeps performing in a manner that makes it likely that he’s going to soon be making a difference at Fenway.
The 5’9″, 160 pound Markus Lynn Betts, (pictured above) originally attracted a great deal of attention for his play at second base, but given that the Red Sox don’t have a need there, has been recently switched to center field. Through 54 games at AA Portland. playing mostly second base, he it .355, with 6 HRs, and 34 RBIs, before being promoted to Pawtucket, where he has played more center field while putting up numbers of .337/2/14, in 21 games.There is a growing expectation in these parts that he will soon replace Jack Bradley on the big league club. However, Bradley has begun to show some signs of life, hitting .292 over the last seven games, while raising his average up to .211. That’s hardly Ellsbury-like, but at least a positive trend, and it may help to slow the rush to bring up Betts.
Another glimmer of hope has been provided by Holt… Brock Holt that is, as the 26 year old super utility player continues to perform well. He’s heading into the Yankees series with a .323 BA, and a .363 OBP. The Sox still are still not getting enough big hits with runners on base, but perhaps that may start to change now that Daniel Nava appears to have finally recaptured his stroke. I believe I reported last time that both he and Stephen Drew had hit over .380 in the seven games prior to that. Well, in the next seven, Nava hit .400, while Drew put up nothing but zeroes, bringing to mind the line from the Springsteen song, “one step forward, two steps back”.
But I digress, as my point for today was to look for the positive, and perhaps I found another one in the returns from the DL by Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront. It appears that the latter will spend an extend period of time in the bullpen, where he was effectively used in last Fall’s post season. Since his return, the opposition has hit only .083 against Doubront, helping to keep the Sox in close games. It’s too soon to tell which Buchholz has returned, but either way you have to be encouraged by his economical 76 pitch, 7.1 inning, victory over Seattle. If Boston can get those two back on track, combined with the continued strong work from youngsters Brandon Workman and Rubby De La Rosa, as well as veterans Jon Lester and John Lackey, then they could be a force to be reckoned with over the second half of the season. Maybe they make a move or two for a power hitter, and perhaps, just perhaps, they’ll put themselves in a position to make a late run at the division title.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see for now, and be content with watching the World Series Championship Trophy tour Red Sox Nation. It is surprising how much that helps…
Featured image courtesy of: (Jillian Souza/Pawtucket Red Sox)
- The “Roger That” Edition - February 28, 2017
- The “Nice Ring To It” Edition - February 3, 2017
- The “Shaken, Not Stirred” Edition - January 17, 2017
- The “Malcolms in the Middle” Edition - January 11, 2017
- A “Catching Up, Following Up, and Weighing In” Edition - December 31, 2016
- The “Cannon and Flowers” Edition - December 21, 2016
- The “Farm, for Sale” Edition - December 10, 2016
- The “Tebucky Jones Tribute” Edition - November 13, 2016
- The “World, Serious” Edition - November 1, 2016
- The “Easy Come, Easy Go” Edition - October 18, 2016