While watching todays 7-7 tie against the Rays, I couldn’t help but notice all the moving around Pedro Ciriaco and Nate Spears were doing throughout the game. Ciriaco moved from shortstop, the second base, to third base, back to shortstop, back to second base, back to third, and finally back to shortstop throughout the game. Spears had a similar day in the field, playing second base, third base, shortstop, and first base throughout the game.
It’s obvious that Bobby V is trying to get a feel for these two as potential utility infielders for the Sox. Both Ciriaco and Spears have had great springs so far this year, batting .400 and .295 and leading the team in runs with 13 and 12, respectively. The 26 year old Ciriaco has played with both the Arizona and Pittsburgh organizations before signing a minor league deal with the Sox this winter. Spears, who saw a little bit of time with the Red Sox towards the end of last season, has been in the Red Sox organization for a few years now and hopes to finally break into the majors this year.
Another player to watch out for in the fight for the final spot is Jason Repko. Bobby V has spoke quite fondly Repko this spring, who like Ciriaco, signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox this offseason.”His speed is very useable,” Valentine said. “He has the capability of hit and running and protecting runners and advancing them with the ability to bunt for a hit. And his hitting seems to be getting a little better. His hitting has been –– he’s been searching for his stroke all spring.” Repko, who has played for the Dodgers in the Twins in the past, currently leads the Sox with seven steals this spring and has shown tremendous talent on the field. While we already have solid outfield depth, don’t be too surprised if you Repko make the team.
If only one player were to get the spot, I see it being Ciriaco. Ciriaco has been quite consistent this spring and has helped the Red Sox with his bat on numerous occasions. His only real flaw is his glove, having the reputation of being a little shaky on the field. Spears has been looked at by the Sox for a few years now and has been putting up the same numbers this year as he has in the past. With not much change, I don’t see things being any different for Spears and his chances of making the opening day roster.
Below is a poll for who should be the 25th man on the Red Sox roster. Share your opinion!
*Thanks to Nesn.com for some of the facts and Valentine quote.