If you had to guess who the face of the Boston Red Sox at this point, who would you take? I don't think there's a clear answer, but a lot of people would probably take Dustin Pedroia. Well, too bad for them because he is recovering from offseason knee surgery, so he will not be in the team's Opening Day lineup.
Well, here's the good news. On Thursday, the Red Sox announced who is going to take up that role. Spoiler alert, it's Eduardo Nunez.
Let's be honest: is anyone really shocked by this? The only way Nunez wasn't going to be their starting second baseman is if he too were hurt. Apparently, he's not.
Nunez hit .321 with eight home runs and an .892 OPS in 38 games for the Red Sox. He was a better hitter than Pedroia in that time. He was probably the best hitter the Red Sox had in that time.
If you're wondering what kind of impact this has on the Red Sox roster makeup, look at it this way: Nunez can play second, third and shortstop. He's going to be a bench guy when Pedroia comes back. That means on Opening Day, Brock Holt, Sandy Leon, Mitch Moreland, and Blake Swihart will likely be the team's bench players if the Red Sox are at their current state of health.
With Nunez on the team, having him Brock Holt and Deven Marrero would be redundant--even though Marrero is a huge defensive asset.
When Pedroia comes back, the team will have to reassess the roster but for real, Nunez is a big leaguer with a lot to offer, so he'll likely be safe.
If he can hit anything like he did last year, Nunez is going to warrant a lot of playing time this season. It's just a matter of if he can repeat it.