After a uneventful playoff run in October, the Boston Red Sox plan to make another run for October this season. One player that will be missing from the roster is DH David Ortiz, a player that has made the Red Sox who they are today. Many have been wondering who will be the leader of that team since Ortiz is retired. Another impact to the teams roster was the acquisition of Chris Sale from the Chicago White Sox, a pitcher that was desperately needed to help out the pitching. We’re coming up on Opening Day, the Red Sox have the personal to make a postseason run; the question is can they?
Pitching: With the addition of Chris Sale, the Red Sox have no doubt one of the best 1,2,3 starters in the MLB. Sale, Price, and Porcello (Cy Young winner last season) are all great starting pitchers. Unfortunately, Price is currently injured and at the latest won’t be back in the lineup mid-April. It may not seem like a big deal now but who knows if the injury pops back up again towards the end of the season, or mid-season for that matter. The Red Sox do need a fourth starting pitcher to step up for them; whether that’s Stephen Wright, Joe Kelly, or Eduardo Rodriguez, one of them, if not, someone has to step up and make a statement to be a good 4th starting pitcher. As for relief help, it’s solid but needs improvement; Pomeranz is on the DL for 10 days and the next “big relief” pitcher they have is Kelly (seeing how Wright and Rodriguez are 3rd and 4th on starting pitcher depth chart). Hembree is solid, along with Barnes as well; but like I said it needs improvement.
Overall I’d give the the pitching roster a solid “B-“, without Price and his uncertainty the rest of the season, it does bring up questions. The bullpen is also in question and whether or not they can do a good job throughout the game leading up to giving Kimbrel the ball.
Infield: Things will be different this year, Hanley will not be starting first base (supposedly) and Holt will not be starting at 3B. Instead Moreland will be starting at first base and Sandoval will be starting 3B. I would of thought Sandoval would be the DH over Hanley, mainly because I like Holt at 3B. I’m not saying Hanley would be a bad DH, I’d just prefer Holt in the lineup rather than Sandoval; whose was a train wreck a year ago. Other than those changes Pedroia and Bogarts stay at their positions and Sandy Leon will most likely be the starting catcher. Though I’d prefer Vazquez, Leon had a good spring-training so he does deserve the starting role.
I’d give the infield a bordline “B-“, mainly because I don’t know how Sandoval will be and how good Moreland can be at first base. I don’t have my doubts about Moreland, just Sandoval.
Outfield: I feel like this is the best outfield we’ve had in a long time; Betts, Bradley Jr., and Benintendi are just freaks out there. I feel like we have the best outfield in baseball and we’re just unstoppable. Aside from that, Chris Young is a good backup outfielder and I have no doubt this outfield will dominant the league.
The outfield deserves an “A” on this one, with Bradley and Benintendi’s defense on the outfield and Mookie’s speed to grab balls, hitter’s are going to have a hard time hitting out there.
Aside from the defense part of our team, the hitting isn’t different either.
Hitting: With Hanley and Betts leading the way, the Red Sox should have a dangerous offense heading into this season. The only departure from that lineup is Ortiz, other than that Sandoval just enters and you still have the squad from a year ago. Like I said in the infield section; I don’t quite know how I feel about Sandoval yet, but if plays like his old self then I have no doubt this hitting lineup will be the best in 2017.
Giving this hitting lineup an “A-” grade, even if Sandoval gets kicked out of the lineup, Holt takes his spot and I don’t even mind that.
Overall this Red Sox team is poised to make another playoff run, and with a young team and “good” pitching, this team should terrify many teams.