Despite managing a defending World Series championship club, John Farrell has to feel uneasy about things. As a matter of fact, his job is tougher than Bill Belichick’s, Claude Julien’s or Brad Stevens'.
Yes, Brad Stevens. The Celtic coach has a bare cupboard but he has five years remaining on his deal. Farrell is in the second year of a three-year contract. As we learned with Terry Francona, winning two World Series titles, let alone just one, doesn't make you a favorite of John Henry.
Don't let three straight wins over Minnesota hide the fact that the Sox roster, while not as weak as the Celtics', is in rough shape.
Jon Lester is gone, and John Lackey and Koji Uehara will be, as well, if the Sox don’t extend them. In the wings? Brandon Workman and Rubby De La Rosa. We shall see.
Mike Napoli, when healthy, is a solid player, but he can’t carry a team. Neither can Dustin Pedroia, though he once could.
And in the outfield . . . WHAT OUTFIELD? Jonny Gomes is not a full-time player and Shane Victorino is breaking down. Brock Holt? Nice story, but let’s see what are his numbers are in September. Jackie Bradley Jr. can field but cannot hit. Is he anything more than a pinch-runner or late-inning defensive replacement on a title-contending team?
Xander Bogaerts and Garin Cecchini are the future on the left side of the infield, but who knows what will happen with Xander at short? If he's the next shortstop, what the heck is Stephen Drew doing on the roster? And if Bogaerts stays at third, what does that mean for Cecchini? This is supposed strength of the Red Sox is all very confusing to me.
See what I’m saying? Right now John Farrell’s lineup of the future doesn’t have one.
Which could mean that Farrell might not have one -- in Boston, anyway -- either.