BOSTON -- Brock Holt has been seeing playing time in the outfield now that Stephen Drew is at third and Xander Bogaerts is at third. When Shane Victorino returns, the Sox will have to be creative about finding him playing time.
"The one thing he's responded to,'' said John Farrell, "is us putting him at any defensive position and he's handled it well. There wouldn't be a hesitation to put him in center field, if that were needed. Or to give Jackie [Bradley Jr.] a day. His newfound versatility has not only been an asset to us, but a luxury.''
The Sox are impressed that Holt has been able to play multiple positions -- some, like first base and the outfield, for the first time -- without it detracting from his play.
"Brock's consistent offense is what drives this,'' explained Farrell. "It's allowed us to be a little more versatile with his defensive alignment because we want to keep the bat in there every day.
"The beauty of this is there hasn't been a hangup mentally, where he goes to a new position and all of a sudden, being less aggressive on the defensive side. And two, we haven't seen any ill effects from his approach at the plate. So I think it speaks to his willingness and overall intelligence and knowing who he is as a player. He's gone out and performed very well.''
As the de=facto leadoff hitter for the Sox, Holt has shown decent speed on the bases and is 4-for-5 in stolen base attempts. Farrell was asked if he might have Holt run more.
"It's improving,'' said Farrell of the baserunning. "I don't know that a 'yes' or 'no' answer to that. His success rate has climbed this year when compared to previous years when his running speed and success rate didn't match. A lot of work was spent in spring training and he's starting to reap some of the benfits of it.''