Not even kidding, I wrote the original article almost exactly one year ago. I was discussing the problems facing the Red Sox last year and I kid you not, the same article could be applicable today. The only exception is that there are far fewer players on the DL. So, let’s re-evaluate this team, 2015 version! Let’s dive into the problems pestering those silly Sox…
1) The big-name, even bigger money players are not doing their jobs. Like, at all. As of May 19, the team’s leader in BA, OBP, and Hits is Dustin Pedrioa. He’s hitting .276, his OBP is .363, and he has 40 hits. New left fielder Hanley Ramirez leads the team with 10 home runs and also leads the team with 22 RBIs. Their new third baseman Pablo Sandoval is hitting abysmally against left-handed hitters (as in, 2-41 this year), and as a switch hitter, that is NOT what you want to see. Maybe the Panda needs to just hit lefty from now on. It can’t be worse than him hitting right-handed, right? Statistically, he has never been that great from the right-side anyway, but 2-41 is a bit ridiculous.
Not only that, but their DH, David Ortiz, is not getting the job done. When you aren’t hitting, and you are paid to hit, that sucks royally. This year, he is sporting a .236 BA, has 5 homers, and only 14 RBIs. Wait, let’s rub a bit more salt in Papi’s wounds: his Yankees’ DH counterpart, my homeboy Alex Rodriguez, is batting .250, has 10 homers, and 22 RBIs. Hahahahahahaha. Let’s also mention that A-Rod has played in 36 games with 128 at-bats. Papi has played in only two fewer games and has only one less at-bat. So what happens when a team who is supposed to be the offensive powerhouse of the AL East isn’t hitting…?
2) …You rely on the pitching! Ew. Wait. Rick Porcello currently owns the teams lowest ERA, which is…wait for it…4.26!! Joe Kelly, the man who proclaimed he’d win this year’s Cy Young award, has made 7 starts and can add 25 earned runs and an ERA of 5.58 to his Cy Young resume. I said this past off-season that Boston needed to spend more money on pitching and less money on hitting, but since no one listens to me, they did the exact opposite.
Boston really messed up low-balling Jon Lester last year and were, in hindsight, foolish to deal John Lackey. Now, with both of them gone, the Sox are stuck with five guys who are no better than number-three pitchers. There is no “ace”, or even a number-one starter on this staff. Bet on Boston to grab another pitcher by the trade deadline. They have the pieces in the farm system to go out and get a great starting pitcher, but the question is will they move said pieces?
3) Defense? Ehhhh…Look, Boston’s defense isn’t great but it isn’t awful. If I was playing against them, I’d try to get on base and steal, because their catchers are allowing almost 8 of 10 base runners to steal a base. Also if I was a player, I’d try to get hit the ball into left field. I’m sorry, but Ramirez is not a great defenseman. His defensive WAR is -0.9. Oof. They have stellar defense up the middle of the diamond and plenty of young talent that doesn’t make a lot of errors. However, it’s the older players who are not proving their worth defensively. I get it, older players are not great in the field, but as weak as their pitching has been, you must have better defenders out there.
Perhaps the Sox are just in a slump, but this is a lesson that not every splashy off-season acquisition will work out (trust me, us Yankees fans know this better than anyone! **cough cough Carlos Beltran cough cough**). How do the Red Sox fix their woes? Much like last year’s post about this same team, I still don’t know. I don’t know how to fix this team. As a person who writes about sports constantly, it is frustrating for me not to know how to fix a team. I can speculate on how to fix a lot of other teams, but I can’t figure out the Red Sox. They are not as bad as they were last year, but considering all the work they did to improve this past off-season, they should not be as mediocre of they are.
I’m seriously so glad I’m not the GM right now.