Three Weeks and…Change?
It’s been 22 days since the Blowhard wrote about what he would do at the Major League Baseball trading deadline if he ran the Boston Red Sox. If you recall, I actually proposed selling off pieces and getting a head start on next season, despite the fact that the Red Sox were in first place at that time. Just didn’t feel comfortable with the team…on and off the field. Didn’t think they had enough to compete for a World Series title, especially when it came to teams in the National League like the Dodgers and Nationals…and presumably the Cubs. I knew the team selling wouldn’t happen, but still offered up some ideas on what courses of action I would seriously consider.
What’s happened since then? The Sox have only gone 14-4. Yup, direct hit with the suggestions again. Good thing no one reads this page…
Does the recent stretch of success change my overall feeling as we head into the final 41 games of the regular season? Well actually, not at all.
I’m going to spare you the review of every original bullet point from the July column. But there are a few appropriate ones that still hold true in my eyes.
The Red Sox made one more move before the MLB trading deadline in July after the original post on 7/28. That was adding set-up man/part-time closer Addison Reed from the Mets. No, I am not counting the move that happened yesterday, losing Noe Ramirez on waivers to the Angels. And you thought I cared about the 39th-40th man on the 40-man roster! Well, yup, I do…just not today…
Reed didn’t endear himself to any of the fans when he first got here, but made it up to some people with his performance last night. Definitely a solid addition. But the fact remains that pretty much the rest of the bullpen sucks. Ok, that is harsh. But Matt Barnes and Joe Kelly don’t inspire confidence in key situations. And besides Reed and Craig Kimbrel, those two are the next in line. Brandon Workman? Perhaps. Heath Hembree, Robby Scott, Fernando Abad? Useful 10-12th (13th?) pitchers on a major league staff. But not people I’d like to see in the 7th inning of a close game against a contender, as Hembree and Scott were last night. Still some holes out there.
Speaking of holes, the predicted Drew Pomeranz injury indeed popped up last night. What happens if this lingers? Eduardo Rodriguez is too inconsistent. David Price, for better or for worse, will not be back this year. Yup, take that to the bank. I proposed seeing if some team would somehow trade for him in the last piece…then he went on the DL hours later. Trade was never going to happen, I acknowledge. But of course his injury flared up again anyway. Have the surgery already…
Oh…Doug Fister sucks…ssssssoooo…other than Chris Sale, the starting rotation still has its holes as well.
The lineup has scored some more runs over the 18 game stretch…and also has had a couple of nice comebacks against the Yankees and Cardinals. But overall, it is too inconsistent to rely on. The same issues presented a few weeks ago persist. Xander had a nice homer the other night, but has still frustrated all of Red Sox Nation. Speaking of frustration…Hanley Ramirez everyone! Rafael Devers has not cooled off, nor has Eduardo Nunez since they’ve both arrived. I imagine that has to change. And one of the teams hottest hitters in July was Dustin Pedroia. Who knows what you will get out of him the rest of the year? Mitch Moreland had a nice pinch hit last night. But he is still…Mitch Moreland. And on and on we can go…and I’m not even going to talk about the rampant putrid baserunning decisions.
Also, let’s look a little deeper into that 14-4 record. 8-0 against the White Sox, Rays and Cardinals. Not exactly the iron of the league. In fact, the White Sox should currently be playing in the International League with the roster they have now. And the Red Sox didn’t exactly smoke them in their 4 game set. That leaves a 6-4 mark against the Yankees, Indians and Royals (a team that should be better than their record). So while 14-4 is impressive indeed, it is a smidge misleading.
I think we need to see how the next 16 game stretch goes. 2 more against the Yanks at home, then 11 of 14 on the road against the Indians, Blue Jays and Yanks again. 6 more division games at home after that. Let’s take a look after the next 22 days then. The AL East is mediocre this year, but that doesn’t make the games any easier when the calendar turns to September. They should still be a tough road to hoe.
I know it doesn’t sound like it, but I am actually happy we can still talk baseball heading into September. I’m just here to throw the caution flag up. I’m not sure this team has any business competing for a championship. You might say, “well the 2013 team really shouldn’t have either”. You would be 100% correct. But the 2013 team had many players that overachieved. The 2017 team has many players underachieving. The players in 2013 seemed tighter with no clubhouse drama (that I recall anyway). And while there hasn’t been much chatter about the clubhouse in recent weeks (coincidentally, after Price went on the DL?), I wouldn’t say that things are all rosy there all of a sudden. I suppose we can say all the players are united against the media, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a great clubhouse.
John Farrell has managed both clubs. It’s a minor miracle either team was ever in the mix with him in charge…
Posted on August 19, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged Addison Reed, AL East, American League, Boston Red Sox, Championship, Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel, David Price, Drew Pomeranz, Dustin Pedroia, Eduardo Núñez, Mookie Betts, Rafael Devers, World Series, Xander Bogaerts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.