Red Sox have variety of options for '16 outfield
Betts, Bradley, Castillo athletic enough to play all three spots
NEW YORK -- When it comes to aligning their young outfield for 2016, the Red Sox are considering a variety of factors. Before Saturday's game against the Mets, interim manager Torey Lovullo provided a glimpse into some of the inner-workings that are being discussed with president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski and the rest of the staff.
Rusney Castillo, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. are all athletic enough to play all three outfield spots. The question is this: How do they best fit together, particularly with the complex outfield dimensions at Fenway Park?
"Those are great discussions that we have," said Lovullo. "We just got done talking about that. We may or may not rank arm strength in the order of importance, we may just rank range and running down the ball. We're looking for every ingredient possible."
Bradley has played all three outfield positions in his career. Betts has only played center this year, but started eight games in left last year. Castillo has played right and center, and Lovullo hinted he could debut in left in the near future.
"Not to blow my hand, but we could see some movement in the outfield for a couple of reasons," said Lovullo. "Just that we want to do the best thing for the Boston Red Sox to help us win a championship. And we don't know what that means at this point, because we haven't had a look at a couple of guys in different spots. We are currently discussing trying to pick out the best strategy, but we believe in those three kids. We know that they're going to be really good players. And we want to make sure we put them in the right spot."
Which position do the Red Sox feel is most important at Fenway?
"We do not have an agreement. We have that discussion very often. There are several of us that feel like right field, outside of center field, has the biggest space," said Lovullo. "And we've all seen Shane Victorino in the past couple of years man that position very, very well, an ex-center fielder.
"There are those of us who feel like the left fielder has a tremendous responsibility, because the biggest area at Fenway Park is right field and right-center field. To shade two guys over in that area and cover that big a space now leaves a big vacancy in left field. So now that left fielder has responsibility side to side to cover a lot of ground.
"We are throwing a lot of different thoughts at one another. We just have to see how it works out and see what player performs in those areas. We haven't defined what is the toughest position. Several of us think right field. Several of us think left field."