The current outlook for the Red Sox making the playoffs is very good. They have a 4.5 game lead in the division, and by the playoff odds at Baseball Prospectus and Fangraphs they are the favourite to win the division, and a near-lock to at least be in the Wild Card game. With that in mind, in my article at BP Boston this week I suggested being proactive in thinking about ways to enhance the roster with small, but potentially meaningful additions. One major pivot point surrounding this idea is Dustin Pedroia’s health. If his knee injury is going to prevent him from playing again this season then the team should be looking to shore up the second base position, as using Eduardo Nunez or Brock Holt everyday is not ideal for a number of reasons. However, if Pedroia is going to be ready come October then covering second base becomes less of an issue, as Nunez and Holt can hold down the fort the rest of the way and Pedroia will resume primary duties when the playoffs start.
Independent from the situation of Pedroia’s health, I would like the team to add a speed-threat off the bench. This requires using a roster spot on a position player who is unlikely to play very much rather than another reliever, which, unfortunately, teams are loath to do these days. The Red Sox should break the trend of carrying bloated pitching staffs. Having a speedy-player available to pinch-run would offer a considerable weapon in an important situation. Getting those extra 90ft could make the difference in the outcome of a game.
Head to over the BP Boston to read more of my thoughts on the roster: Rounding Out the October Roster
Update (August 24, 2017)
Yesterday, the Red Sox signed Rajai Davis!
Sources: Red Sox to land Rajai Davis. Silence for now because the A’s are currently playing extras. He’s lone man on bench.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) August 23, 2017
The front office must be following my suggestions ;)