Once upon a time in Red Sox Nation, there was a right fielder who provided timely hitting, great defense and a little bit of pop. For 19 years, Dwight Evans patrolled the area right in front of the short green-padded bullpen fence. He was a mainstay of the Red Sox teams of the 1970s and 1980s. Most importantly, he provided lineup protection for future Hall of Famer Jim Rice.
The 2012 squad will have three players vying for playing time in right field. It's safe to say Red Sox fans would love it if one of them could end up like "Dewey."
The first candidate is Ryan Sweeney. He is now entering his seventh season in the league. His best season came in 2009 with the Oakland A's when he posted ordinary numbers (.293 BA, 6 HRs, 53 RBI). He has had a very poor spring, posting a dismal .083 BA.
His main competition is Cody Ross and Darnell McDonald.
Ross has had some success during his eight-year career. He had his best seasons with the Miami Marlins, where he belted 80 homers and drove in 297 RBI over five seasons. Ross has had a strong spring (.455 BA, 2 HR, 5 RBI).
McDonald has had limited major league experience, but is having a good spring (.429 BA, 2 HR, 3 RBI).
Who wins the right-field job?
You have to give the nod to Ross.