Brock Holt

Super sub Brock Holt does it again: 'I come to the field every day ready to go'

Mike Petraglia
April 14, 2015 - 9:35 pm

The irony of the situation Tuesday was not lost on Brock Holt. When he came to the ball park on Tuesday, he was informed that he was the starting shortstop because Xander Bogaerts was getting the day off to rest his knee, tweaked rounding third base in the home opener Monday. "Xander gets taken out of the lineup, it's going to be me playing short," Holt said. "I just got ready to go. I come to the field every day ready to go. I check the lineup, if I'm in, great. If I'm not, just be ready. Saw that I was playing short and got ready to go. My job is to be ready to play every day and wherever that might be, it's fine with me. Just be ready to play, play the game. I saw I was in there today and was ready to go." But midway through Tuesday's 8-7 win over the Nationals, third baseman Pablo Sandoval left with a left foot bruise after getting hit by a Stephen Strasburg breaking ball. Hanley Ramirez was called upon to return to his natural position of shortstop. But Ramirez, watching Holt all spring and seeing how comfortable he looked at short, actually deferred to Holt and chose instead to play third. "It's huge, especially a guy with his tenure and his stature," Holt said, with a tone of appreciation. "He could've easily said, 'Nah, I don't want to do that.' But he did because we needed it and I think that speaks volumes to the guys we have in this clubhouse. I think everyone is rooting for each other and pulling for each other and everyone wants to win, and that showed tonight. "I've kind of gotten comfortable at all the positions. If I were to have to move over, I don't think it would've been too big of an adjustment. Just move over to third and try to make the plays over there." Holt, who has already played second, short and center field this season, started 11 of his 13 games at short in 2014, compared to 37 starts (39 appearances) at third. "It was big for me to get that experience moving around," Holt said. "Just come to the field ready to go, see where you're playing and get ready to go at that position that certain night. Obviously, when I started playing new positions last year, it was a little more difficult. I had to do a little bit more work but now, I feel pretty comfortable at most of them. It's a matter of seeing where I'm playing and go from there." When Ramirez moved in from left field, it was the first time all year Ramirez played in the infield. He didn't take a single grounder at short or third during spring training, nor did he play the position in a spring training game. But Holt said that didn't significantly affect his ability to communicate with Ramirez because it was infield coach Brian Butterfield sending signals from the dugout. "He doesn't know some of the signals we have with Butter so Butter would signal to me and I'd kind of let him know where he wanted him to play and stuff like that," Holt said. "But Hanley's been in the infield before so it's not too big of an adjustment." Offensively, Holt was 2-for-4 and drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh with a ground out. The Red Sox, thanks to three errors from the Nationals defense in the inning, scored three runs without benefit of a hit. "I didn't even know we didn't get a hit that inning so that's news to me," Holt said. "But that's huge, take advantage of the other team's mistakes. We were able to do that tonight and come away with the win. I wouldn't call it fortunate. We were up there and had a tough inning. But this offense is capable of coming back from anything. We got a couple of breaks there in that one inning and scored some runs but we're happy to take away the win." Holt didn't think he had done the job at first when he hit the grounder to a drawn in Ian Desmond at short, with Allen Craig on third and one out. He figured Desmond would go home. But that wasn't the case. Desmond hesitated and Craig didn't, racing across with the go-ahead run. "I did nothing on that play," Holt said. "That was Allen Craig. He had a heckuva read and won us the game with that. I hit right at him and I was kind of frustrated. The guy had good sink. Everyone was hitting the top of the ball right into the ground. I saw it going right to Desmond and was a little frustrated but Allen Craig got such a good read that he had no play at home and threw me out at first."