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Alex Cora doesn't think Red Sox need a Dave Roberts-type

Rob Bradford
August 21, 2018 - 5:38 pm

Dave Roberts. Joey Gathright. Quintin Berry. Rajai Davis.

All were part of the Red Sox' postseason strategy during the organization's various runs at the World Series. The acquisition of a designated speedster to call upon when needed at the most important moments. Last year it was the August acquisition of Davis from Oakland, with Marco Hernandez attempting to fill the role in 2016.

This time around? It's probably going to be a catcher.

"Nah, I mean, we’ve got Blake right now," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora when asked if he thought such a talent might be needed, referencing Blake Swihart.

The Red Sox were offered a reminder of how important such a player might be Monday night when they were forced to leave Mitch Moreland on second base, representing the tying run with two outs in the ninth inning. With Swihart already in the game, the Sox' bench didn't allow for any options when it came to possibly replacing Moreland on the basepaths.

"(Monday) we were in a situation that we felt we were all in in the eighth to either score a run or flip the lineup. And we were able to flip the lineup and then we didn’t have a pinch-runner for Mitch," explained Cora. "When it got to 3-2, two outs, I was like, 'Yeah, here we go because he’s going to have a running lead.' But I think when Blake doesn’t come into a game to catch, he’s fast enough that he can steal a base. He’s not a burner but he’s fast enough that he can steal a base or score from first. We’re not going to use Joe (Kelly) or Rick (Porcello). I do feel that they can, but obviously, we’ll stay away from that. They’re probably the two best athletes with David (Price) but I think Blake can do that now, the rest of the month, or even in September."

Once September rolls around the Red Sox might have some options in terms of pinch-runners, with infielder Tzu-Wei Lin and Tony Renda representing possible call-ups.