Twice this week, the best fielding first baseman in the American League has played third base. Does that make sense? Why move Youkilis over to third and remove Lowell from the lineup? Lowell may not be the fielder he was two years ago, but he has eight homers and is batting .305. The Fan couldn't find any story about him being hurt. So what gives?
With Youkilis at third, the Red Sox have been playing Jeff Bailey at first. The kid has talent and can hit the ball a long way, but he's batting .185 with 21 strikeouts in 65 At Bats. With Bailey in the lineup and the sinking David Ortiz moved down to sixth in the batting order, the lower part of the Red Sox batting order looked like this:
6 - Ortiz: .197
7 - Varitek: .238
8 - Bailey: .185
9 - Lugo: .271
Not exactly awe inspiring for pitchers on the other team.
Rumor has it that the Red Sox are pursuing Nick Johnson. While Johnson fits the Red Sox batting philosophy, what would they do with him? At this point in their careers, Youkilis is the better fielder. The only sense Johnson makes is if he takes Ortiz's place.