You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

SPRING TRAINING PREVIEW

Red Sox have lack of depth in infield

Will Middlebrooks showed promise before suffering a season-ending wrist injury last year.

Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Will Middlebrooks showed promise before suffering a season-ending wrist injury last year.

Third in a series of spring training roster breakdowns coming this week. Monday: Starting rotation. Tuesday: Relievers. Wednesday: Infielders. Thursday: Outfielders. Friday: Catchers and DHs.

As the Red Sox prepare for spring training, here is a look at their infielders:

Continue reading below

Expected starters: Mike Napoli (1B), Dustin Pedroia (2B), Stephen Drew (SS), Will Middlebrooks (3B).

In the mix: 2B-SS-3B Pedro Ciriaco, 2B-SS Brock Holt, SS Jose Iglesias, 1B Mauro Gomez.

Prospects of note: SS Xander Bogaerts, 1B Travis Shaw.

Continue reading it below

Organizational depth: SS-2B-3B Jonathan Diaz, 1B Mark Hamilton, Util. Drew Sutton.

Breakdown: The starters are locked in unless there’s some sort of injury. Given the history of this group, that’s a potential issue. Napoli arrives as a free agent with a hip condition that could eventually end his career. Middlebrooks is coming back from a broken hand. Drew missed large chunks of 2011 and ‘12 with a broken ankle. Pedroia has dealt with injuries large and small the last two years. Ciriaco and Holt could battle for one bench spot. A backup first baseman is needed. Right now, Hamilton and Gomez are it.

What’s good: There’s power in this group. Napoli could hit 25 homers with his made-for-Fenway swing. Middlebrooks connected 15 times in 267 at-bats last season. Pedroia has 36 homers the last two seasons and Drew hit 48 from 2008-10. ... Middlebrooks is a better defender than he showed last season. ... Drew and Napoli have the incentives of one-year contracts. ... Pedroia will be much happier playing for John Farrell than he was Bobby Valentine.

What’s bad: Napoli is not a particularly good first baseman but should be adequate. ... Drew will initially be compared to his brother J.D., who wasn’t popular with a segment of the Red Sox fan base. ... Middlebrooks had a .325 OBP last season and struck out 70 times in those 267 at-bats. He needs more discipline. ... Has the window closed on the defensively gifted Iglesias? With Bogaerts on the way, he needs to have a big season at the plate.

Theme song: “Don’t Let Us Get Sick” by Warren Zevon.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.