Brock Holt is making his presence felt in the Red Sox lineup after being called up to the majors on Friday.
After managing only two hits since signing with Boston on April 7, third basemen Ryan Roberts was designated for assignment and will now have to clear the waiver wire before being assigned to AAA Pawtucket.
Holt was recalled on April 6 for one game against the Milwaukee Brewers, but saw no game action and was optioned back to the minors after Roberts signed with the team. He played in 26 games with the major league club in 2013, posting an unimpressive .203/.275/.237 slash line. He did, however, drive in eleven runs and walked seven times while posting only four strikeouts.
The 25-year old has been off to a hot start in Pawtucket in 2014, batting .380 with eight extra base hits in 12 games so far this season. His .446 on-base percentage has been helped by the fact he has only struck out three times, while managing five walks.
Boston hoped that Holt could provide a spark out of the bottom of the lineup until Middlebrooks returns, and so far he has done just that.
Holt made his first start Friday night against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park. He struck out with the bases loaded in his first at-bat, but made up for that by driving in Mike Carp with an RBI single in the fourth inning. He showed some speed beating out an infield hit in the eighth inning that was initially ruled an out, but was overturned by the umpiring crew.
Holt showed off that speed again Saturday when he drove in Mike Carp with an RBI stand up triple in the bottom of the seventh inning, a run that would prove to be the game winner for Boston. Holt would score later in the inning on a safety squeeze play by Jonathan Herrera, after the switch hitter dropped a bunt down the first base line. Holt did commit an error in the ballgame, but has otherwise looked solid at third for a Red Sox team that has struggled mightily on defense early in the season.
With Will Middlebrooks set to begin his rehab assignment sometime next week, now is also a perfect time to show off Holt to potential trade candidates. Boston has a surplus of minor league depth, and Holt could potentially be used in a package to land another offensive weapon come the July trade deadline.
For now, the Sox will look for Holt to continue to produce for a team that hasn’t played well on either side of the ball in the early going. With a win Sunday however, the Sox will have won or split four out of the six series they have played, and can only look to improve with the return of Middlebrooks and Victorino approaching fast.