Everything they said about J.D. Drew was right.
He doesn’t look like he cares. He’s too content to take a walk. He’s not aggressive at the plate. He plays decent defense. He runs well. He’ll get on base at a decent clip. He’ll be nagged by injuries. The fans will probably dislike him.
But – it was always said – if healthy, his numbers will be there at the end of the year.
Well……WTF?!: .265 AVG, 6 HR, 45 RBI – What’s wrong with this guy?
Sunday was the last straw for me. With the Sox down 3-1 in the eighth inning with two outs and runners on first and second, Drew hit for Bobby Kielty. Well, he didn’t actually hit . Drew stood there and watched six pitches go by him, striking out looking on a pitch on the outside corner.
Just another example of J.D. Drew letting an opportunity pass, failing to protect the plate and be aggressive in a time when a base hit is certainly more valuable than a walk. One of these days Drew has to step up and get the job done himself instead of waiting for someone else – usually the guy hitting behind him – to do it.
The Red Sox didn’t sign Drew to be a leadoff hitter.
And this isn’t about the money. The Sox are big market club. Part of being a big market club is spending $14 million a season to woo a free agent outfielder to patrol a tough right field and hit fifth behind your big boppers. I’d be upset even if he was making $1 million.
The Sox lack of production from the No. 5 spot in the order is staggering. I was listening to WEEI the other day and Dale and Holley read off some of the numbers. I don’t remember the figures exactly and had a hard time tracking them down, but the Sox ranked something like 28th in the league in home runs and close to that in RBI. The Sox No. 5 hitters produced 14 home runs, also near the bottom.
Of course, as we all know, the Red Sox had this same problem last year. But Drew was supposed to fix it.
He hit .283 with 20 homers and 100 runs batted in for the Dodgers last year – numbers that would have been more than adequate had he done the same with the Sox (I’m not asking for his 2004 MVP candidate season with Atlanta when he hit .305 with 31 jacks and 93 batted in).
But at some point, doesn’t this guy have to heat up? For more than two/three games? Doesn’t he have to start going the other way and maybe swing at a pitch that may be just outside the plate if it means solid contact to drive in a run or move a guy over?
It makes the Sox failed attempt to acquire Jermaine Dye even more significant. I wanted Dye more than Gagne. It’s not that I thought Gagne would be bad (who could have predicted this?), it’s just that I thought another bat in the lineup was a more pressing need.
If Drew continues to do what he did Sunday, that need might be exposed in the postseason. Or maybe sooner.