The Boston Red Sox have gotten off to quite a start in the 2016 campaign. As of today, they are 25-17 and a game out of first in the AL East. They look like they are firing on all cylinders after a 7-1 in 8 games, where they outscored their opponents 78 to 37. Red Sox fans have quite a lot to be happy about, then all of a sudden they go into a series against the Kansas City Royals and lose two out of the three. What happened?
Here’s what happened; the Boston Red Sox are not as good as Red Sox Nation thinks they are. It’s easy to beat the living crap out of two awful teams like the Oakland Athletics and the Houston Astros. Oakland quite possible may end up as the worst team in the league this year. Houston, while full of potential, can’t seem to piece anything together while making stupid mistakes all over the field. When the Red Sox finally had to take on a team that isn’t awful, They lost three games, and went 1-1 in a double header. Let me take you on a little tour of everything that is right and wrong with the Red Sox as of right now.
Let me start with David Price. The $217 million dollar ace. Red Sox nation is all over him right now because his ERA is 5.53. All i have to say to that is “so what?”. The guy is still sitting at 6-2 on the season and oh by the way, He was the winning Pitcher in the second game of the double header against the Royals. How can you hate on a guy who has 76 strikeouts in 58.1 innings pitched? Even with his ERA as high as it is, The team is still winning around him. Price has always started April as slow as humanly possible for a Pitcher, in his last two starts he has given up 3 earned runs and struck out 17 batters.
Next, I will be touching on the hidden gem known as Rick Porcello. Arguably the best Pitcher that Boston has right now. I don’t think any Red Sox fan would think another Red Sox fan would be saying that right now at the end of last season. Porcello is currently 6-2 with 3.51 ERA, while striking out 49 through 51.1 innings. Not too bad for a guy who ended last season 9-15 with a 4.92 ERA. My only concern is how long will this production last? I don’t see him keeping pace with Price as the season goes on.
I’m avoiding dealing with Clay Buchholz so we will move onto Steven Wright next. Another guy who is arguably the best Pitcher on the team right now. His record wont show it at a measly 3-4, but his ERA is the best one the team at a 2.52. He got rocked against a horrible Houston team but still left the game with a no decision. Unlike Price, Wright is getting little to no run support when he takes the mound. Which is where is 3-4 comes into play.
I guess now I really don’t have much of a choice, here we go with Buchholz. He’s got two wins in a row in three starts. My first instinct if I was Dave Dombrowski would be to try and trade him now for something as low as a bag of baseballs before he gets hurt sometime next month. 7 years in a row this guy has gotten hurt and the Sox still haven’t learned their lesson. He sits at 2-4 with a 5.92 ERA. Even if we wanted to trade him, I doubt anyone would want him.
The 5th starter this season has been a place of interest. Eduardo Rodriguez can’t seem to come back from the injury that he suffered in February. Joe Kelly is also on the DL, But he comes back today, not that he is going to help the rotation at all. Henry Owens and Sean O’Sullivan have been going back and fourth from Pawtucket to fill in that final spot. Neither one of them has really made a mark though. Maybe until Rodriguez comes back they should call up some random Starter a week until they find someone who actually does good. They have one of the best minor league systems in the league after all.
The biggest highlight of this team is the bullpen. Craig Kimbrel, Koji Uehara, Junichi Tazawa, Tommy Layne, and Robbie Ross Jr. have been on fire this season.
As we move ahead to the offense, there isn’t really much to be said about them. They are getting hits all up and down the order. Ortiz is having one of the best last seasons in the history of the game (Does anyone actually think that this is his last season? no I didn’t think so). Ortiz is hitting .306 with 16 doubles, 10 home runs, and 34 runs batted in. Those don’t really sound like last season numbers.
Jackie Bradley Jr. is in the middle of a 25 game hit streak and been on absolute fire as of late. Bradley Jr. is the most hot and cold hitter I have ever seen in the league. Once this hit streak is over, he will go into a 20 to 30 game slump. We have seen Pablo Sandoval quickly become a waste of our time and money as Travis Shaw has proven that he is just as good if not even better than Sandoval. Which makes Dombrowski’s choice to keep Panda in the midst of the James Shields trade really stupid.
No one would have ever guessed that Hanley Ramirez would be able to play first base. He can, and he is doing great out there. He has the mechanics down, which is better than we could say about him in Left Field last season. Ramirez is also batting .312 which is great, although he hasn’t hit nearly as many Home Runs as we would expect out of him.
The young core of Blake Swihart, Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, Christian Vasquez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Travis Shaw make us look primed to make a run in the next couple of years, I don’t see this team as a win now type team. If we pick up a solid Left Fielder and another Starting Pitcher, we could make a real run at the World Series.
I’m not going to tell you the Red Sox can’t turn this around, because they can, If they don’t do anything then we will see them implode down the stretch like Boston fans saw of the Bruins just this past hockey season. We need to bring in a Pitcher at the deadline. I wouldn’t trade our entire future for anyone, but a solid number two will help us down the strech a lot more than Clay Buccholtz will