Back in early August, when Jed Lowrie returned from the disabled list, manager Terry Francona indicated that Lowrie and Marco Scutaro would “split” playing time at shortstop for the Red Sox.
That didn’t last very long, however, as Lowrie was needed to fill in for the injured Kevin Youkilis at third base and Scutaro has now started 16 of the past 18 games at shortstop.
Scutaro is also hitting .308 with an .816 OPS during that time, which would seemingly make him the Red Sox’s choice to continue starting at shortstop down the stretch and into the playoffs, but Francona stopped short of saying that when asked yesterday.
“I guess it depends on how we’re playing and how guys are playing,” Francona told Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com. “It seems like things change weekly, if not daily. I guess I would fall back on the answer that I’ll try to put us in the best position to win and see what that is. I don’t think it’s necessary to have one guy be the shortstop. At the same time, maybe there’s a hot [hitter]. I don’t know. We’ll see.”
It’s a nice problem to have, of course, but right now everything points to Scutaro getting the bulk of the work.
The Braves are reportedly putting the kibosh on a trade for Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, per the latest from MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. Bowman says that the club hasn’t engaged in further talks with the Marlins for the last five days and doesn’t appear to have any plans to resume discussions, either.
While the Braves aren’t starved for catching depth, Realmuto would have rounded out a trio that already includes sub-.200 hitters Tyler Flowers and Brian McCann. The 27-year-old backstop, meanwhile, is coming off of a career year with the Marlins, during which he earned his first All-Star nomination and Silver Slugger award after slashing a healthy .277/.340/.484 with 21 home runs, an .825 OPS and 4.8 fWAR through 531 plate appearances.
The Braves’ apparent lack of interest shouldn’t have a negative impact on Realmuto’s market, however, as they were just one of six teams rumored to approach the Marlins with an offer. The Reds, Rays, Mets, Padres and Dodgers are all still in on the slugger, whose current contract places him under team control through 2020 and for whom a hefty return would be expected. So far, a frontrunner has yet to emerge in trade talks.