How The Starting Right Fielder Position Battle Is Going So Far During Spring Training

Gavin Sheets, Dominic Fletcher, and Zach DeLoach are competing for the starting job. Veterans Rafael Ortega, Mark Payton, Brett Phillips, and Kevin Pillar are also vying for the job.

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Ortega is a reliable veteran backup.

Cubs fans are familiar with his work during his two seasons on the Northside. He hit a career-high .291 in 103 games for the Cubs during the 2021 season. He played in just 44 games last season for the New York Mets.

He will be 33 in May and is another veteran who would probably be suited to being the fifth outfielder if the Sox choose to carry that many.

However, he is not making a case to make the team with a .067/.118/.200 slash line in the early portion of Spring Training.

Kevin Pillar could be a reliable veteran leader.

He is past his prime but is still capable of playing a professional right field. He might provide the veteran leadership presence this club lacked last season.

If anything, he probably has the most honest assessment of how this franchise allowed what should have been a long reign at the top of the AL Central to end so quickly.

He is having a productive spring so far with a .250 average in seven games.

Payton is an organizational depth player.

Born in Orland Park, IL. Payton came to the Sox after spending time with the Cincinnati Reds. He played in eight games in 2022 where he had three hits in 21 at-bats. He was non-tendered after the season and went over to Japan.

Payton is a long shot to make the big-league club. He is 3-for-6 with a home run in Spring Training. Getting just six at-bats shows he is probably not winning a job but should help out Charlotte this year. Plus, it must be an organizational rule or something that he is invited to Spring Training.