Bobby Dalbec is tied for second with J.D. Martinez for most home runs by a Red Sox player since the start of the 2020 season. Only Rafael Devers (73) has more than their 44.
But it appears Dalbec will have limited opportunities to add to that total. With Eric Hosmer on the roster as the regular first baseman, Dalbec is largely out of a job. He had been platooning with Franchy Cordero, who is now in Triple A.
“I understand it,” Dalbec said. “Obviously [Hosmer] has a lot of experience and four Gold Gloves. I’ll do whatever else they need me to do.”
That could include playing some second base. Manager Alex Cora wants Dalbec to get some work there in case he is needed. With Trevor Story on the injured list, the Sox have been using Christian Arroyo and Yolmer Sánchez at that position.
At 6-foot-4, 227 pounds, Dalbec does not look much like a second baseman.
“I feel like I’m pretty athletic. But DJ LeMahieu [of the Yankees] is a pretty big dude and he plays there,” Dalbec said. “The double plays won’t be too bad. It’s the little flips, the touch throws, I need to work on.
“I know Boston fans are used to [Dustin Pedroia], but I should be OK if they need me.”
A larger question is where — or if — Dalbec fits with the team moving forward. He is primarily a third baseman who learned to play first base. With Devers under team control through 2023 and Hosmer signed through 2025, Dalbec has no spot barring other moves, unless it’s as the designated hitter.
Dalbec had a .792 OPS, 25 homers, and 78 RBIs in 133 regular-season games last season. But he was 0 for 12 in the postseason, and this season has hit .205 with a .649 OPS. His regression is part of the reason the Sox obtained Hosmer.
“Nobody has said anything to me. I really don’t know what they’re thinking,” Dalbec said. “I need more consistency. I felt like I was hitting the ball hard early in the season and taking my walks, but not getting rewarded.
“The more I play, the better I’ll do. It’s always been like that. I’m used to being an everyday player. It’s hard to have success when you get at-bats here and there.
Dalbec has a .750 OPS in 48 plate appearances since the All-Star break, with four home runs and 10 RBIs. He homered on Saturday when Hosmer was given a day off.
At 27, Dalbec doesn’t see himself settling into a bench role.
“I’m not the player I will be. This is all part of the learning process,” he said. “In terms of the organization, I don’t know how they view me. I just want to help the team win. Honestly that’s all that matters.
“I don’t see myself as a platoon player, but right now that’s what I am.”
Dalbec hopes to work with Hosmer on playing first base, particularly some of the nuances around the bag.
“He’s been doing it for 10 years and he’s really good. There are a lot of different situations that come up where I can learn from him,” Dalbec said. “People forget last year was my first year at first base. I feel like I’m improving and I know I can do better.”
Arroyo is 13 of 29 with three extra-base hits since coming off the injured list on July 30. He has hit .404 going back to July 3.
But Arroyo also has four stints on the injured list over the last two seasons, so Cora plans to be careful with how he’s used.
“He gets excited. But we have to be careful and we’re going to take care of him,” the manager said. “As long as he’s disciplined in the training room and weight room, he’ll be in really good shape.
“You take a look at his season and he’s hitting the ball hard. He’s all-around very solid. We need to keep him on the field.”
The Red Sox have averaged 3.93 walks per nine innings since July 1, the highest rate in the majors. “As a pitching staff we’ve got to be better with throwing strikes,” Cora said. The wild streak started during a three-game series at Wrigley Field against the Cubs . . . For the first time in his career, Xander Bogaerts could play against a fellow Aruban this week. The Braves, who start a two-game series at Fenway on Tuesday, are carrying Chadwick Tromp as one of their catchers. The 27-year-old has 33 games of major league experience. “I hope it happens. People back home would like it,” Bogaerts said . . . The sixth-annual “Players’ Favorite Things” auction to benefit the Boston Children’s Hospital Neighborhood Partnership Program has started. Up for bid are gift baskets put together by players and their families, and most include autographed items. Cora’s partner, Angelica Feliciano, helped coordinate the effort. The auction runs through Aug. 15 at redsox.com/basketsforgood.