The Sox find themselves in a very good but tough situation. Who is going to be their second basemen on opening day? They currently have Kike Hernandez, Marwin Gonzalez, Christian Arroyo, Jonathan Arauz, Danny Santana, and Micheal Chavis battling for the Second Base Job. Now a lot of those guys are platoon players that can play multiple positions on the field, so winning the second base battle isn’t the be all end all for these guys, but it’s a huge battle and should be a lot of their focal points if they want to break camp in a Red Sox uniform.
How many spots are available?
The PR answer to this? All of them. The realistic answer? Probably about 3 or 4. It’s obvious that Kike and Marwin Gonzalez aren’t going anywhere this season. They will be with the Sox on opening day. Pair that along with Danny Santana being hurt recovering from both an elbow injury that sidelines him last year and surgery on his right foot to address an infection. So, for the sake of this article, we will take those three out of the equation. That leaves us with Arroyo, Arauz, and Chavis.
Chavis has been very open about the realization that, come April, he may not be wearing a Boston Red Sox uniform. Instead, it could be the Worcester Red Sox. Chavis has said that he is focusing on going out and playing well to be in the conversation but still realizes that nothing is guaranteed.
Well, he has done just that. So far this spring, Chavis has made Cora’s job a very difficult one. He is hitting .314, slugging .800, OPS of 1.168, with 5 home runs, 2 doubles, and 10 strikeouts in 35 At Bats. Not bad, not great. Chavis is more of that 3 true outcome type of bat that if he broke camp with the sox would find himself in the bottom half of the order. Sox were hoping to see his strikeout numbers go down, but with him being tied for the lead in home runs on the team, it’s hard to ignore his power.
Not far behind Chavis is Arroyo. He is currently hitting .273 in 33 At bats with 2 homers, a double, slugging .485, and an OPS just under .800. Arroyo is more of that traditional 2 hole hitter. Get on base so the 3-4 hitters can drive him in. Nothing wrong with that at all! Except, does that fit our lineup this year? That is the question Cora has to answer.
It wouldn’t be a battle for a spot if Arauz wasn’t hitting the hell out of the ball as well. He is currently coming in with a .310 batting average to go along with 5 doubles, a homer, a slugging percentage of .586, an OPS of .961. Like Arroyo, Arauz is a contact guy who puts the ball in play, hoping to get on base so the heart of the order can drive him in. A very valuable asset, but the same question remains, do they see a fit in the order?
It is a battle for sure. But it’s a battle I’m sure Cora is pleased to have. All three of these guys are leaving everything on the field to make sure they are in Boston on Opening Day. Unfortunately, I don’t see all three of them being there. They may try something like that, but I think it’s a numbers game at this point. If I had to guess, Arauz would be the odd man out. I have two things that lead me to this, and both are out of his control: age and lack of power. Arauz, only 22, is a guy that is falling victim to the three true outcome results in baseball and the way it’s turning. The game now values guys that Homer, Walk, or Strikeout, that’s it. It’s awful, and I hate it, but I can’t sit here and ignore it. That plays to Chavis’ strength and shoots a guy like Arauz right in the foot. Sorry Arauz, I like you a lot but don’t think baseball likes your style of play.
-Kevin Perdios (@Perdios95)
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