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Boston Herald
Boston Herald
24 Feb 2024
Mac Cerullo

NextImg:One Red Sox position battle could impact all others, Alex Cora says

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox have some decisions to make as far as their position player pool, especially as it relates to the bench, but Alex Cora said Saturday that one decision looms large above all others and will dictate everything else the club does.

Will Ceddanne Rafaela win the starting center field job?

“I think as far as position players the decision in center field is going to dictate what we do with the rest of the players,” Cora said.

The rest of the players in question includes Pablo Reyes, Bobby Dalbec and Romy Gonzalez, who are believed to be the top contenders for Boston’s available bench positions. Reyes and Dalbec in particular are in an interesting spot given they’re the only two players Cora believes can back up at first base, but who are also being counted on to contribute at other positions as well.

“Obviously right now of the guys on the roster who can play first base, they’re the only two. Bobby is going to get some repetitions in the outfield, Pablo will too, and we’ll decide what we do,” Cora said. “We have to make sure the outfield part of it is taken care of for us to decide where we’re going after that.”

Rafaela started Saturday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Orioles and Cora said he will see significant time at the position throughout the spring. He will likely start most, if not all, games at center while Jarren Duran is building up for his debut next Friday, and likely most road games after that.

“We’re going to give him all the chances to get repetitions in center field,” Cora said. “He needs them too, at this level, and just playing him out there as much as possible, with his grey pants most of the time, and it should be fun playing him.”