Questioning The Stephen Drew Signing
The Boston Red Sox recently signed shortstop Stephen Drew to a one year deal worth $8 million. Since that signing in mid- May, Drew has played in just four games. He has been activated since June 2nd; however he has missed time against left handed pitchers and also with an oblique injury.
Drew missed a game two nights ago yet again with the oblique injury while Jonathan Herrera played shortstop. Since they faced a lefty, Wei-Yin Chen of the Baltimore Orioles, Drew likely would not have been in the lineup anyways. But that’s exactly the problem. If the Sox were willing to give Drew $8 million and move the position of top prospect Xander Bogaerts, why is it alright for him to be sitting?
With another missed game last night against Cleveland, he went for an ultra sound on his oblique. It has to be wondered if he came back from not playing too soon with just around 25 minor league at bats, where he struggled to hit. Now since he has been out, a DL stint could be imminent.
Since he could use more minor league at bats, a trip to the disabled list wouldn’t be the worst thing. The struggle comes at shortstop, however. Manager John Farrell has said several times that Bogaerts will not play shortstop again this season. So if Drew goes on the DL, is Jonathan Herrera the starting shortstop? And is it okay for a team trying to contend to go with a utility player at a skill position when their top shortstop prospect is right there?
Aside from the injury, the Drew signing was still questionable at best. Bogaerts, though not spectacular, wasn’t bad at shortstop and to stunt the development of a 21 year old top prospect is slightly concerning. Also consider the fact Will Middlebrooks will be back again this season. Though he has not lit the world on fire, the threat of a right handed power bat in the lineup changes the way teams will pitch to the Red Sox. Drew essentially blocks this.
Add on the fact the Red Sox are far too left handed. Brock Holt, though he has played very well, is a lefty. Along with lineup stalwarts David Ortiz and A.J. Pierzynski, but also Jackie Bradley Jr and Grady Sizemore who have seen good chunks of time. Only Dustin Pedroia and Xander Bogaerts are regular righties. Daniel Nava is a switch hitter but almost non-existent on the right side of the plate. The same goes for Herrera.
Adding another bottom of the order lefty bat doesn’t help the offense in the least, which has struggled more than the Red Sox want to acknowledge. Bradley has also struggled with the bat, but his defensive is superb and as a young player his potential is still there. Drew, who hit under .200 in each playoff series last season, shows no such potential at this point in his career.
There was no good reason to sign Stephen Drew, and it’s coming back to bite them.