Could Pedroia move to SS for 2015?

TomRicardo

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This was discussed in 2009 and with the emergence of Mookie Betts, it may merit consideration.
 
The idea would be to move Pedroia to SS, Betts to 2B and Bogaerts to 3B.  The assumption being Bogaerts is more naturally fit for 3B and Pedroia even on the wrong side of 30 would be a better defensive SS than Bogaerts.  It also means the Red Sox don't have a better offensive option at 3B than Betts (they most likely don't).
 
Concerns
Pedroia's arm
Pedroia's age
Pedroia's health
 
Bogaerts more valuable as SS
Bogaerts being jerked around again
 
Middlebrooks essentially become worthless to the Sox
Cecchini essentially becoming worthless to the Sox
 
OF Depth
 
 
Benefits
Pedroia's bat playing better to SS
Pedroia being the best defensive option that can hit (Marrero and Holt are MLB bench players)
 
Can have Betts, Castillo, and JBJ in the same lineup (if you believe in Castillo and/or JBJ)
 
Bogaerts can stop pretending to be SS and focus on developing into a 3B
 
First time we had stability at SS since 2003.
 

j44thor

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Don't think Pedroia has ever had the arm strength to consider SS.  He is much better going to his left than right which is ideal for 2B, not at all ideal for a SS.  Has any player shifted to the right side of the defensive spectrum post age 30?  Don't think this is even under consideration.
 

geoduck no quahog

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Clipped from my "absurdists" post in the 2015 thread:
 
1. Pedroia at SS: Why not (I'm sure there are many reasons), but I recalled this ESPN article from 2009: 
 

Quote
"They've asked me if I think I could play shortstop," Pedroia says. "They've put it out there and I've told them I'm all for it. I can do it. I can't wait for Tito [Terry Francona] to call me and ask, 'Can you do it?' I can do it. I really want to do it."
 
Pedroia was an all-American shortstop at Arizona State, and takes ground balls at the position during the season...
 
"One thing they know is that I will catch the ball," Pedroia says...
 

When Pedroia signed in 2004, he played shortstop for 42 games in the South Atlantic and Florida State leagues and did not make an error. He moved to second base in 2005 at Portland because of Hanley Ramirez, but still played some short there and in Pawtucket in 2005 and 2006. In 184 games at short in the minors he made just seven errors.
 
Francona played him some games at shortstop in spring training in 2006 and was unimpressed.
 
"Look," Pedroia says, "I was 20 pounds heavier. I tried to get big and it was a disaster. I know it. It's all about quickness, agility and flexibility, and I know it."...
 
"When the idea of moving back to shortstop was floated to me, I welcomed it," Pedroia says. "I'm excited. Tell Derek [Jeter] to enjoy the gold glove and silver slugger awards while he can. Obviously, I'm not serious about the fun I have with Derek, but I'm never stopping believing in the goal. I believe I can play shortstop and help get the Red Sox back where they belong."

 
 
...but it solves so many issues: It resolves the outfield clog, gets Betts into the lineup, rids the team of WMB and puts Bogaerts at 3B (a position I feel he's best suited for)
 
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Wouldn't moving Pedroia to SS be more or less a temporary measure?
 
Maybe he can handle it for a year or two, but eventually he's just physically not going to be up to snuff at SS, if he's even capable now.  He got moved off of SS for a reason, and has never moved back for a reason (it's not like there hasn't been opportunity with the revolving door over there.  I think if the team is going to experiment with positions to get all those guys in the lineup, perhaps the simplest thing to do is put Betts at SS (or 3B with Bogaerts remaining at SS).
 

geoduck no quahog

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Maybe worth a try? How would one do that? How do you determine if he'll be a disaster unless he tries it out in winter league (fat chance)
 

Harry Hooper

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geoduck no quahog said:
Maybe worth a try? How would one do that? How do you determine if he'll be a disaster unless he tries it out in winter league (fat chance)
 
Well, there almost a month's worth of practice games remaining on the schedule.
 

threecy

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I guess my question would be, do we actually know if Betts' arm is weaker than Pedroia's?
 
Right now, one scenario would be a question mark at shortstop (Pedroia) and a question mark at second base (rookie 2B in Betts).
Another scenario would be a question mark at shortstop (Betts) and, injury willing, guaranteed plus defense at second base (Pedroia).
 
I don't see why you move Pedroia with respect to the first scenario.
 

mt8thsw9th

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If you're going to play a player out of position, why not Betts at third? Is his arm any worse than Freddy Sanchez's? If the organization ever considered Pedroia for SS, I would imagine they would have played him there at some point in the past 8 seasons. This isn't the first time they've had a question mark at SS. In fact, they've had one nearly every single season.
 

TomRicardo

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mt8thsw9th said:
If you're going to play a player out of position, why not Betts at third? Is his arm any worse than Freddy Sanchez's? If the organization ever considered Pedroia for SS, I would imagine they would have played him there at some point in the past 8 seasons. This isn't the first time they've had a question mark at SS. In fact, they've had one nearly every single season.
 
Betts is really short for 3B so is Castillo and Pedroia.  Also Betts arm probably isn't great for the position.
 
The Red Sox considered him 2009 then signed Scutaro because they couldn't find a 2B (They were looking into Phillips and Uggla but decided it was better to just give up the draft pick with Scutaro)
 

jschip1

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TomRicardo said:
 
Betts is really short for 3B so is Castillo and Pedroia.
 
 
I saw that in the Over the Monster article, too, and I'm not sure I understand.  Why does height matter at 3b in particular, and any more than any other defensive position on the field?  Honest question.
 

geoduck no quahog

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mt8thsw9th said:
If you're going to play a player out of position, why not Betts at third? Is his arm any worse than Freddy Sanchez's? If the organization ever considered Pedroia for SS, I would imagine they would have played him there at some point in the past 8 seasons. This isn't the first time they've had a question mark at SS. In fact, they've had one nearly every single season.
 
All we know is that Marrero and Miller pushed Betts out of the SS position. I don't know if that's because the organization saw flaws in Betts as SS, or if the other two were just clearly better. Scouting reports in other threads describe him as having "a decent arm for his size". 3B is reflex and arm. SS is speed to the ball, arm strength and turning the DP. 2B is speed to the ball and DP agility. 
 
Can he play the left side of the infield?
 

rodderick

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jschip1 said:
 
I saw that in the Over the Monster article, too, and I'm not sure I understand.  Why does height matter at 3b in particular, and any more than any other defensive position on the field?  Honest question.
 
The only possible explanation I can come up with is that most batters are right handed and most batters are also pull hitters, so there's a higher amount of line drives hit to third that a taller fielder could go up and catch.
 

Al Zarilla

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In moving Pedroia off of 2B you would be removing one of the best fielders at any position from his position. Going along though, would Pedroia have the range and the arm for deep in the whole grounders? Going to his left he'd probably be fine. Betts at second is not a known quantity yet in the majors. So, take a platinum glove candidate out of his position and replace him with a "rookie". No way Jose. 
 
A lot of people want to try Betts at third. I think he'd be better, but the guy that comes to mind, who also has played lots of positions, is Chone Figgins. 
 

geoduck no quahog

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Al Zarilla said:
In moving Pedroia off of 2B you would be removing one of the best fielders at any position from his position. Going along though, would Pedroia have the range and the arm for deep in the whole grounders? Going to his left he'd probably be fine. Betts at second is not a known quantity yet in the majors. So, take a platinum glove candidate out of his position and replace him with a "rookie". No way Jose. 
 
A lot of people want to try Betts at third. I think he'd be better, but the guy that comes to mind, who also has played lots of positions, is Chone Figgins. 
 
I agree there's a lot of fantasizing here, but the equation needs to include replacing the best 2B in baseball with a guy who scouts say is a "plus" 2B, abandoning the development of XB at SS and replacing him with someone who conceivably is no worse (and possibly better), and finally losing decent defense at 3B - replaced by "adequate" defense at 3B. 
 
All in all, probably a reduction in infield defense...but maybe not, and obviously a solution to a current (but maybe not future) roster problem: crowded outfield and not-ready-for-primetime 3B.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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j44thor said:
Don't think Pedroia has ever had the arm strength to consider SS.  He is much better going to his left than right which is ideal for 2B, not at all ideal for a SS.  Has any player shifted to the right side of the defensive spectrum post age 30?  Don't think this is even under consideration.
Pedroia is pretty damned good at going to his right as well. He gets to balls hit over the second base bag and even to the ss side as well as anyone I can recall watching.

The only question for me is the arm, and I would rather see them take a chance on Mookie's arm than Pedroia's.
 

jschip1

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rodderick said:
 
The only possible explanation I can come up with is that most batters are right handed and most batters are also pull hitters, so there's a higher amount of line drives hit to third that a taller fielder could go up and catch.
 
That sounds plausible, but then if Betts has a good vertical he could make up for being a little short and it wouldn't be an issue anyway.
 

j44thor

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Snodgrass'Muff said:
Pedroia is pretty damned good at going to his right as well. He gets to balls hit over the second base bag and even to the ss side as well as anyone I can recall watching.

The only question for me is the arm, and I would rather see them take a chance on Mookie's arm than Pedroia's.
 
Yeah he can get to balls but that is by laying out and he may or may not actually throw the runner out.  I have a hard time seeing Pedroia ranging to his right staying on his feet and throwing someone out from the hole.
 

nvalvo

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jschip1 said:
 
That sounds plausible, but then if Betts has a good vertical he could make up for being a little short and it wouldn't be an issue anyway.
 
Betts isn't much shorter than Pablo Sandoval, and Sandoval can be very good at third.  
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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Snodgrass'Muff said:
Pedroia is pretty damned good at going to his right as well. He gets to balls hit over the second base bag and even to the ss side as well as anyone I can recall watching.

The only question for me is the arm, and I would rather see them take a chance on Mookie's arm than Pedroia's.
 
I don't think Pedroia's arm is any weaker than David Eckstein's, and he managed it ok in his time. Though with apparent the evolution in MLB away from roided up beastly sluggers toward more athletic speed guys running down the line now and in the immediate future, perhaps Pedey's arm won't be enough in this era (whereas Eckstein could get by with his back then).
 

Al Zarilla

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Sandoval's height could be exaggerated at 5'11". 5'11", 245 pounds sounds better than 5'10", 245. When he was 280, good God... Even if Pablo is 2 inches taller, who would you take in a vertical leap contest, him or Mookie?
 

kazuneko

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Since there is no rumors that this is being considered, it seems likely that Pedroia being moved to SS is nothing more than something to chat about on message boards at the end of a brutal season. That said, guess I'm not seeing how it's possible that Pedroia at short is an improbable fantasy while Xander is seen as not only a realistic option but even the  probable starter at the position. I know Pedroia may not have X's arm strength, but in every other way (including arm accuracy)  Pedroia is vastly superior defensively- and let's not forget that his natural position through college was SS (and that he was good enough at the position to be named the NCAA's defensive player of the year).
I know Xander is young but he has shown very little defensive potential at SS. At this point his time at SS is starting to feel like time that could be better spent getting him adjusted to 3b, which is almost certainly where he'll end up longterm. With the emergence of Betts (who hasn't played SS for more than a few games at any level higher than high school) the signing of Castillo (blocking Betts with a far more expensive, Cuban version of himself) moving Pedroia seems like the one way that the young talent on this team can play on the same field together. 
 

TomRicardo

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j44thor said:
Don't think Pedroia has ever had the arm strength to consider SS.  He is much better going to his left than right which is ideal for 2B, not at all ideal for a SS.  Has any player shifted to the right side of the defensive spectrum post age 30?  Don't think this is even under consideration.
 
He did start 5 games for the Red Sox there in 2006.
 

jscola85

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The keys to playing 3B well are, in no particular order:
 
1. First step
2. Soft hands
3. Strong arm
 
I don't see why being tall helps with any of these.  My bigger concerns for Betts long-term at 3B are he that he lacks a cannon arm and I'm not sure he has natural 3B instincts.  I think he's plenty quick enough and he seems to have a soft set of mitts.
 
As for Pedroia at short, I could see the Sox considering using him there 40-50 games a year, but to have him switch over at his age and play 120+ games there seems highly unlikely.  He's already a guy who gets banged up - playing an even more demanding position could further sap his offensive production, and there's no guarantee it improves the defense either.
 

Sprowl

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j44thor said:
 
Yeah he can get to balls but that is by laying out and he may or may not actually throw the runner out.  I have a hard time seeing Pedroia ranging to his right staying on his feet and throwing someone out from the hole.
 
Pedroia's signature is the diving stop to his backhand on hot shots up the middle, followed by springing to his feet and throwing to first for the out (the F*ck Yeah play). I think he is only pretty good at going to his left, but the best in baseball at going to his backhand. That play does not translate to shortstop.
 
Of all the rookie position players, Betts is the only one who looks like a two-way threat -- Bogaerts will probably be a good hitter someday, and Bradley and Vazquez are already great defenders, but may never hit. It's a bit disheartening to see Betts emerging as a fine centerfielder and already an excellent second baseman, while the Red Sox have made their only long-term commitments to Castillo and Pedroia. Perhaps Castillo can move to RF, because I don't think that Betts has the arm for RF or 3B. His throws have the distance, but not the precision (they tend to be high, looping throws).
 

Doctor G

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Pedroia's skill set probably works better at 3rd. He has demonstrated excellent reflexes playing 2nd when the infield  is drawn in. he also gets to his feet after diving for the ball as well as any 2nd baseman in the game. he would also allow Bogey to cheat toward second given  his ability to go to his glove side
 

nvalvo

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I've seen Betts play a fair amount (in Portland), so here's what I'll say about the Betts to third talk. 
 
Mookie the infielder has to my untrained eye a good first step, decent to good MI range, good instincts and reliable hands. I don't think I know how to judge footwork, but Betts and Marrero made up a smooooooth-looking double play combination, not something you always see in AA ball. His arm is strong, but — and here's the issue — not all that accurate. From 2B, this isn't a big deal, as you're close enough that your errant throws are manageable. From 3rd or short, he'd be pulling first basemen off bags all the time. 
 
(I think Mookie the outfielder is awful, but inexperienced. He could very well improve.)
 
In other words, I don't think he was pulled off short in Lowell because he lacked the range — I'd imagine his good 2b range and athleticism would translate decently — I think it's because he made 9 errors in his first 14 professional games. I'm guessing those were throwing errors. 
 
I suspect that could also be an impediment at third. It's not the arm strength, it's the accuracy. That said, we have a well-respected infield instructor. 
 

Harry Hooper

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Sprowl said:
 
 It's a bit disheartening to see Betts emerging as a fine centerfielder and already an excellent second baseman, while the Red Sox have made their only long-term commitments to Castillo and Pedroia. 
 
 
Aye, there's the rub.
 

twibnotes

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As it relates to the Mookie-Castillo redundancy factor, might it be good to embrace that redundancy? We saw how JBJ and X were exposed and lacked a sufficient counterpart. Why not move Castillo-mookie-Shane through the CF and LF slots as appropriate? Plenty of abs to go around.
 

Buzzkill Pauley

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twibnotes said:
As it relates to the Mookie-Castillo redundancy factor, might it be good to embrace that redundancy? We saw how JBJ and X were exposed and lacked a sufficient counterpart. Why not move Castillo-mookie-Shane through the CF and LF slots as appropriate? Plenty of abs to go around.
 
Because unless there are some significant changes via trade, at least Nava, Craig, Cespedes, and the LF spot are also at issue.  
 
Three OFs for two slots isn't terrible, but six OFs for three slots isn't nearly enough at-bats to go around.
 

j44thor

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Buzzkill Pauley said:
 
Because unless there are some significant changes via trade, at least Nava, Craig, Cespedes, and the LF spot are also at issue.  
 
Three OFs for two slots isn't terrible, but six OFs for three slots isn't nearly enough at-bats to go around.
 
Pretty sure Craig isn't in the discussion for anything until he proves himself capable of being above replacement which he hasn't been for a calendar year now.  You can't really count on Shane for anything either given his now extensive injury history.  That leaves you going into next season with Nava/Cespedes in left and three largely unproven talents for CF/RF.  There is far from a logjam at this point in the OF.
 

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Buzzkill Pauley said:
 
Because unless there are some significant changes via trade, at least Nava, Craig, Cespedes, and the LF spot are also at issue.  
 
Three OFs for two slots isn't terrible, but six OFs for three slots isn't nearly enough at-bats to go around.
Has there ever been a time when the Sox have had 10-12 (potentially) capable position players and not a clue as to what position any of them will play? Is Cherington on the hot seat? Are any owners asking wtf is he doing behind closed doors?
 

twibnotes

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Buzzkill Pauley said:
 
Because unless there are some significant changes via trade, at least Nava, Craig, Cespedes, and the LF spot are also at issue.  
 
Three OFs for two slots isn't terrible, but six OFs for three slots isn't nearly enough at-bats to go around.
 
 
Oh I totally agree on this - just saying I don't see moving Pedey around as the answer.  Get rid of Nava and perhaps even Craig...or let Craig spell Napoli and Papi, not our outfielders.
 

twibnotes

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HomeRunBaker said:
Has there ever been a time when the Sox have had 10-12 (potentially) capable position players and not a clue as to what position any of them will play? Is Cherington on the hot seat? Are any owners asking wtf is he doing behind closed doors?
 
They just won a WS and have a loaded farm system...can't imagine Cherington has to look over his shoulder