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Who will the Red Sox start at shortstop in the playoffs?

Sep 8, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

marco-scutaro-red-sox

Back in early August, when Jed Lowrie returned from the disabled list, manager Terry Francona indicated that Lowrie and Marco Scutaro would “split” playing time at shortstop for the Red Sox.

That didn’t last very long, however, as Lowrie was needed to fill in for the injured Kevin Youkilis at third base and Scutaro has now started 16 of the past 18 games at shortstop.

Scutaro is also hitting .308 with an .816 OPS during that time, which would seemingly make him the Red Sox’s choice to continue starting at shortstop down the stretch and into the playoffs, but Francona stopped short of saying that when asked yesterday.

“I guess it depends on how we’re playing and how guys are playing,” Francona told Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com. “It seems like things change weekly, if not daily. I guess I would fall back on the answer that I’ll try to put us in the best position to win and see what that is. I don’t think it’s necessary to have one guy be the shortstop. At the same time, maybe there’s a hot [hitter]. I don’t know. We’ll see.”

It’s a nice problem to have, of course, but right now everything points to Scutaro getting the bulk of the work.

  1. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 8, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    “Who will the Red Sox start at shortstop in the playoffs…IF THEY MAKE THE PLAYOFFS?”

    As I have been saying on here for weeks…don’t count out the Rays. They control their own destiny 7 games back with 7 to play against the Red Sox…especially considering all the Red Sox injuries.

    • dailyrev - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:22 AM

      this fellow’s remark isn’t half as crazy as it seems, and it reveals a bigger problem for the Sawx: their pitching is even more shallow and ragged than the Yankees’. Compared to that, SS is a complete non-issue for the Sawx.

      • hittfamily - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:16 PM

        There isn’t a pitching matchup that favors the sox over the Rays. With Beckett going down, the Rays #5 is better than the Sox #1.

      • Ace - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:43 PM

        The Red Sox have a 99.9% chance of making the playoffs (which sounds silly and made up, but is the actual figure from Baseball Prospectus). Bless those Rays, but it’s just too late for them this year. I’d agree that that the Rays have the better starting rotation, but that’s not enough to compensate for Boston’s superior offense and 7 game lead this late in the season.

      • madhatternalice - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:50 PM

        “Rays #5 is better than the Sox #1″

        Really? I’m a far, far cry from a Red Sox fan, but if I had to pick, I’d say that Lester is far and away better (and more consistent) than the Rays’ 3-4-5 pitchers. But maybe that’s just me. Lester hasn’t given up more than one earned run since August 10th. That’s some quality pitching right there.

      • toosoxy - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        Lester is MUCH better than the Rays’ rotation. Their fifth starter? Hah. Check your math, hitt

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:05 PM

        Ace…in 2007, the Mutts were 99.9% chance of making the playoffs with 17 games to play. They didn’t make it. These things do happen…

      • bigleagues - Sep 8, 2011 at 4:00 PM

        Uhm. Do I even dignify hittfamily’s attempt to flame? Everyone except him seems to know that Jon Lester is one of the best pitchers in baseball . . . so I guess I’ll just say no.

        That said, Beckett was back in the clubhouse walking on his ankle last night. It’s been diagnosed as a sprain. He will skip a Start. And we’ll have to wait and see how he does in that next Start b4 we start declaring the sky is falling.

        The Rays have had a better than expected season, but let’s not lose our minds here kids. 7 GB with 20 to play is quite a steep hill to climb. Could the Rays go 15-5 and the Sox go 8-12 to force a 1 game playoff? I’ll never say never. But its not likely – even given the Sox SP difficulty at the moment.

        BTW, the Rays do not control their own destiny. They are the pursuers.

        The Red Sox, on the other hand, do control their own destiny – having a 7 game lead with to play vs Rays – that’s controlling your own destiny. If the Sox win even 2 out of those 7 games, they are still up by 6 Games.

      • bigleagues - Sep 8, 2011 at 4:03 PM

        EDIT FUNCTION:

        I meant to say the Sox would still have a 4 Game lead even if they lose 2 out of 7 against the Rays.

        Which, I might add, don’t think will happen.

  2. toosoxy - Sep 8, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    My vote is for Scut. He’s been okay plus lately.

  3. proudlycanadian - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    “Who” is on first. I think that the shortstop is “I dont give a darn”.

    • dailyrev - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:57 AM

      watched the J’s slap their bullpen around yesterday and make poor Tim wonder if #200 will ever happen. Also was reminded of the one first-place prize that Toronto can claim: every time I listen to Martinez-Tabler on their TV feed, I seem to learn something. At all events, they’re the one baseball broadcast team that never annoys me. They just talk baseball and no BS. Admirable.

  4. yankeesgameday - Sep 8, 2011 at 11:31 AM

    The sox are by no means a lock to make the playoffs.

  5. hittfamily - Sep 8, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    “Who will the Red Sox start at shortstop in the playoffs?”

    Isn’t it freaking way too soon to be asking that question? The Sox likely make the playoffs. However, and that is a huge however, Tampa’s #5 pitcher….hell make that number 7 pitcher in Matt Moore, is far superior to Boston’s #1 at this point. They meet the next three games. If Tampa sweeps, and Boston finds themselves up 4 games with 17 to go, including 3 in Tampa, and 3 in NY, do you really think they are worried about who their SS is in the playoffs.

    • APBA Guy - Sep 8, 2011 at 1:33 PM

      The only Rays pitchers whose WAR are above Jon Lester (3.5) are James Sheilds (4.8) and David Price at 4.7, which are significantly better. Jeremy Hellickson is next at 1.7, far less overall effectiveness than Lester. Josh Beckett, currently injured, has a WAR of 4.1.

      There is no factual basis for a claim that the Rays pitchers 1-5 are better than the Red Sox # 1, whether that # 1 id Beckett or Lester.

  6. psousa1 - Sep 8, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    That and the fact Lowrie is hurt and hasn’t played since last week and may not be back……………………….

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