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As previously mentioned, the Sox have a handful of players in camp competing for the back up OF/1B bench spot. Lyle Overbay, Mitch Maier, and Mark Hamilton all signed minor league contracts this off-season, with hopes of making the team come April. Daniel Nava is looking to convert into an adequate backup first baseman. Heck, maybe even Mauro Gomez has an outside shot of making the team. Competition is good, but if someone can emerge as the clear cut favorite, then that bodes even better for the Red Sox.

CBS Sports' Jon Heyman believes new acquisition Mike Carp has the upper hand.
Heyman doesn't specify whether this is just a hunch, or he is getting information from one of his many big league sources. Peter Abraham of the Globe has also predicted that Carp will get the back up 1B/OF job, citing Carp with the most upside of the group.

For what it's worth (read: not much at all), in four games Nava is batting .375 with a double, Hamilton is batting .286 with a double and 2 RBI, Carp is batting .250 with a double and an RBI, and Overbay is batting .143 with a triple and an RBI.

I personally think there is too much up in the air for this race to be called. I'd like to think it's Nava's job to lose (because who can say no that smile), but he has to prove that he can handle first base AND show improvement against left-handed pitching. He does have one option remaining, so they could start him in Triple-A to continue getting reps at 1B. On the other hand, Carp has no options remaining, which gives him an advantage over Nava from the get-go. As the season comes closer, check back here for updates on this riveting race for a bench spot.


Read what else I have to say or find me on Twitter @therealjtrunfio

Joel Trunfio 2/27/2013 09:35:00 AM Edit
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