Once a week, you’ll hear from numerous Red Sox bloggers on the Internet on a Red Sox related issue, and we’ll aggregate the answers here. Answers are placed in the order they were received. Thanks to everyone for participating!
Which alignment gives the Sox the best chance to beat the Rays, and why? Lowrie 3B, Cora SS, Youkilis 1B / Youkilis 3B, Lowrie SS, Kotsay 1B / Youkilis 3B, Lowrie SS, Casey 1B (Tell us in the comments your opinion!)
Youkilis 3B, Lowrie SS, Kotsay 1B… Game 4 proved to me that Kotsay can handle 1B and that Youk is the best 3B we have with Lowell out. I’m not sure Youk makes either of those plays that Kotsay made in Game 4 and I’m not sure Lowrie makes that play that Youk did on Hunter in the 6th… I love Casey and he can definitely hit, but since he and Kotsay are both lefties and Kotsay is probably better at 1B… Kotsay will continue to get the nod. — Bottom Line Rob, The Bottom Line
“With Yook flashing serious leather on both sides of the diamond and Lowrie being serviceable at both 3B and SS, this comes down to: Who is the best player of the remaining three? Cora? Please. I really like Casey, but Francona must have caught him in bed with Mrs. Tito, because the Mayor saw no action against the Angels. Kotsay made a couple of nifty plays at 1B in Game 4, has shown more versatility, and is not rusty. So it’s Yook-Jed-Kotsay. — Allan Wood, The Joy of Sox
“Prior to game 3 of the ALDS, I thought that an alignment of Youkilis/Lowrie/Casey would give us the best chance to win. That was before Mark Kotsay made his over-the-shoulder grab, and his unbelievable diving catch on a foul pop. That’s the kind of defense that the Red Sox will need against the fast-running Rays; they’ll need every single out that they can get.” — Michael Christopher, Sox Addict
I would like Tito to go with Lowrie at third, Cora at short, and Youk at first. That give the Sox the best defense, but I also think that Casey and Kotsay should be used as pinch hitters liberally in the game; especially in the late innings for Cora and ‘Tek. — Matt O’Donnell, Fenway West
What a difference one game makes, huh? Before Game 4, I would have said Casey needs to be at first. But two fantastic plays and a couple hard-hit balls later, it’s clear he has won the job. His bat isn’t as bad as what he showed for most of September, and it’s clear he’s much more of an asset on defense than Casey. Lowrie obviously should be at shortstop over Cora, who is good at what he does — which is back up better infielders. More than one or two spot starts exposes both his poor hitting abilities and declining defense. That obviously leaves Youkilis at third. His presence in the lineup is a no-brainer. — Paul SF YFSF
I see no reason to alter the lineup as it was in Game 4 of the ALDS. Youk/Lowrie/Kotsay. The only thing that could throw a wrench in that is a Julio Lugo sighting on the ALCS roster and we all feel the same way about that prospect; blech. There aren’t many positive batter/pitcher matchups to take advantage of and with all other things being equal, put your best defensive team out there. — Tim Daloisio, Fire Brand of the American League