Holt's versatility continues to pay off for Sox

Holt's versatility continues to pay off for Sox
August 26, 2014, 7:15 pm
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TORONTO -- Brock Holt has played seven different positions for the Red Sox, and until recently, most of his playing time has come in the outfield.

But the Sox outfield will be very crowded next year with the addition of Rusney Castillo and the return of Shane Victorino. Factor in the presence of Allen Craig and Yoenis Cespedes and then consider both Jackie Bradley Jr. and Mookie Betts, and there would seem to be little opportunity for Holt.

But with the concussion suffered by Xander Bogaerts, Holt has been handed the shortstop job for the week. He played the position well Monday night and chipped in with two base hits and two stolen bases and scored the winning run in the 10th inning of the Sox' 4-3 victory over Toronto.

"With David (Ortiz) as our everyday DH,'' said John Farrell, "that's where (Holt's) versatility starts to (pay off). We can spell other guys and build in some rest. The way he played shortstop (Monday) night, you could say, 'My gosh, this is a left-hand hitting shortstop, a leadoff-type guy. Couldn't you say he's more valuable at that one position?'

"But so much of Brock's role is going to depend on our roster. I will say this -- if he's in a versatile role, he's still going to get a lot of playing time, as he's done throughout this year.''

Holt has seen his offensive game dip in the second half, but is still hitting .290 with an on-base percentage of .342, and according to Farrell, "maintained quality at-bats. He's building a very solid foundation for himself.''

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Xander Bogaerts, on the seven-day DL with a concussion, had what Farrell described as "a very good day" Tuesday, working out in Boston.

"He's come in and pretty much is symptom-free,'' said Farrell. "We'll go through the next steps - get approval from MLB and everything points to his return when we get to Tampa.''

He is eligible to return to action Saturday.

Bogaerts must first pass exertion tests and some on-line cognitive tests, and must be examined by team doctors.

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Ortiz, sidelined with inflammation in his right foot after fouling a ball off the area Sunday, remained out of the lineup for a second day.

The Sox remain hopeful that he will be available for the series finale on Wednesday.