With seven weeks left of the 2017 MLB, the Red Sox find themselves in first place in the AL East. They/ve done this with a combination of hitting and excellent pitching. The Red Sox are doing it with timely hitting and solid pitching. At the trade deadline, the Red Sox acquired Giants utility man Eduardo Nunez. In addition, the Red Sox also picked up Mets reliever Addison Reed and recalled Pawtucket third base man Rafael Devers. Both Devers and Nunez have been a shot in the arm for the weak hitting Red Sox. Devers and Nunez have combined for 8 home-runs while Reed has been a plus in the bullpen. Every game seems to bring out a different hero. Lately the Red Sox have been doing with late season dramatics. Currently, the Red Sox are enjoying an eight game winning streak. The Yankees have fallen four games back while the Devil Rays are in third five games back. Christian Vazquez, Mitch Moreland, Eduardo Nunez and Devers have all contributed with game winning hits. Nunez especially has been important on both defense and offense. If the Red Sox want to remain in first place and have any type of success in the post season they’ll need with both pitching and timely hitting. October is about pitching. Thus far the pitching has been the best in the American League. With a league best 3-64 ERA most of the success is due to Chris Sale. Thus far this season Sale leads the league in both wins and strikeouts.The Sox have also been getting solid performances from Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez. Craig Kimbrell has been super coming out of the bullpen and saving twenty- five games. Pitching is what separates the serious contenders from the pretenders.For the first time in a long time, the Red Sox are last in the league in home-runs/116. Big Papi is no longer delivering big home-runs. What they have is good enough to win. Even if they lack power I’ll take pitching, defense and base stealing any day.
With forty eight hours left for major league baseball teams to make a deal the biggest need for the 2017 Red Sox is leadership. Since David Ortiz retired last season no player has taken the role as team leader. This years Red Sox are a team surrounded by turmoil. The center of the turmoil is starter David Price. Price has fallen out of favor with the fans and media. Price has had two verbal incidents with Sox color man Dennis Eckersley and also a Red Sox beat writer. Price has since then gone on the ten day DL for shoulder stiffness. Price don’t forget missed all of spring training and the first two months of the season due to shoulder issues. Incidents like these have sparked outrage from Boston fans who want Price shipped out of town as soon as possible. Price’s behavior has caused controversy in the Red Sox clubhouse. With the trade dealine Monday Prices name has come up in several trade talks. Price is in his second year of a three year deal where hev has an option to opt out after three years. Many Red Sox insiders feel that this is the route Price is taking. He’s on his second stint on the DL and many speculate that he his preparing to opt out after next year. In another gray area for the Red Sox this year has been manager John Farrell. Since the Price incident Farrell has not addressed the issue. He has let the tension escalate which as resulted in the Red Sox falling out of first place. With two months left the Red Sox desperately need leadership. Veteran Red Sox infielder Dustin Pedroia has volunteered to take over the role . Pedroia is the Red Sox elder statesman with eleven years of service. With the Yankees and Devil Rays red hot the Red Sox need to find ways to keep winning. Earlier in the month the Red Sox released free agent bust Pablo Sandoval. No matter what happens between now and October leadership is the main need this year n
With the 2017 major league All Star game nearly three weeks away theBoston Red Sox find themslves in second place in the AL East 1.5 games behind the Yankees. With a respectable 40-32 record most fans would be more than happy with that record. But being the Red Sox their are several distractions facing the club this summer. One major distraction is how manager John Farrell handles his players. One particular example has been David Price. Price who missed all of spring training with an injury has returned but has nothing great to show for it. Price is in his second year of a 217,000 million dollar salary. Price won 17 games a year ago but isin’t even close to where he should be this year. Price rently got into a shouting match with a Boston writer. Farrell as usual walked away and didn’t take any resposibilityfor it. The whole incident was unprofessional on both Farrell and Price. The second prolem is Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval went on the 10 day DL with an inner ear infection. Not to mention he’s not even half way through his 95 million dollar contract. This is his second stint on the DL this year. Another blunder by Farrell he sat Sandoval down due to the speed in KC and started Josh Rutledge all three games. Poor judgement on Farrells part The third issue has been DH Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez is dictating to Farrell and the Red Sox he just wants to be a DH. Ramirez who had great numbers last 30-111 and a 286 BA once again Farrell lets his players control him. Not to mention Ramirez makes 22,000,000 million per season. The last point is how Farrell handles his pitching. Close Craig Kimbrell is having an All Star season. Farrell has him coming in the eight inning facing four batters instead of three. Also he’s been pulling out his tarters to early in one instance it cost the Sox a win in KC. Obviously Farrell is overmanaging and is afraid of his job. Where ever the Sox finish this yea these foolish decisions he makes may or may not cost him his job.
With a quarter of the 2017 MLB season in the books the Boston Red Sox find themselves in third place in the AL East 23-21- 512 and 4.5 games out of first. For a lot of clubs that would be encouraging but not for Red Sox nation who won the AL East last year. The first order of business is to get starter David Price back healthy. Price is currently on a rehab assignment in Pawtucket and should be back in a week to ten days. Secondly the Sox and their fans need to get over the retirement of David Ortiz. Naturally production has fallen way off the Sox have a league low 38 homers and 166 runs batted in.but have a respectable team batting average of 266. First baseman Hanley Ramirez has filled in and has done a respectable job with 5 homers and 17 runs batted in. If the Sox are going to make a run outfielder Jackie Bradley needs to get going. Bradley had a great year last year but is hitting just over 200 with 4 homers and 11 runs batted in. So far the pitching has been fair. Newly acquired Chris Sale has been sensational. Sale is going for his ninth straight games with ten strikeouts or more. Sale recently tied a club record of eight straight games held by Pedro Martinez. Relief wise the bullpen has been sub par .Relievers Robby Scott, Heath Hembree , Matt Barnes and Fernando Abad been criticized by the fans for being overused by manager John Farrell. Closer Craig Kimbrell has been brilliant. Kimbrell has a nifty ERA of 0.96 a 4-2 record with 12 saves . The last area of concern has been third base. Opening day 3rd baseman Pablo Sandoval has gone down with an injury. Sandoval out most of last year had a fantastic spring and earned his job back. Sandoval should be back within in week. Since his injury third base has been a committee. Utility men Josh Rutledge, Marco Hernandez and Deven Marrero. Out of the three Marrero has shined playing solid defense. If the Sox are going to be serious contenders they need to make a move now. Other than Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez the Sox need quality starts from the fourth and fifth spots .Starter Steven Wright has gone down with an injury. Fifth starter Drew Pomeranz has been awful. If the Sox start falling farther and farther back then manager John Farrell’s job could be in jeopardy in the off season. The Sox may need to thick about trading for another starter or arm to survive the summer The only problem is GM Dave Dombrowski has already traded away most of the organizations top prospects. Only time will tell.