Red Sox cleats and misses for early season sample
The Boston Red Sox have been a disappointment – to put it mildly – as they approach 30 games in their apparent season-long battle for last place with the Baltimore Orioles. Boston has the pace of the equally put off O’s in the all-important wage competition by a 4-1 margin.
If you see this as another “hit piece” on the Red Sox, I commend you for your insight. If bad news about the home nine is causing personal problems, I would suggest you stop, find a DVD of the 2004 playoffs, and retire to a comfort shell.
Now for the poles and misfires of this dumpster fire.
DUD: – Bobby Dalbec hits .440. Oh wait, my bad, it’s Dalbec’s OPS! His batting average is .139. Bobby’s 31 wRC+, 31.5K% and below average defensive play are illuminating. How bad is that? Boston recalled Franchy Cordero as yet another assault on our sensibilities.
Standard: Xander Bogaerts continues to post impressive numbers as he counts down the days remaining in his sentence before stepping down. Bogaerts has been down this rabbit hole of last place in the past and can probably reassure there are better days ahead. At least for Bogey and his future new contract.
Standard: The ace is Michael Wacha, who is now on the IL after a 3-0, 1.38/3.88 start. Wacha begins to erase bad decisions from the 2021 season – Garrett Richards and Martin Perez. Perez, understandably, now throws a great ball for Rangers.
DUD: Fans turned to Trevor Story, who became the symbol of this team’s failure. Story signed late, had only a few at bats and was thrown into the fire: excellent defense and a propensity to not get the big hit. The story is starting to have unfavorable comparisons to Carl Crawford, but to me it’s more JD Drew.
STANDARD: Get closer to Garrett Whitlock. The bullpen wipes out runs, especially late in the game, and Whitlock is the cure. At 1.7 BB/9 and 12.0 K/9 for the season. A few walks and K’s – perfect for closing.
Nips: To save space on the server, we have Christian Vazquez, Enrique Hernandez, Jackie Bradley Jr., Christian Arroyo and Alex Verdugo. All five underperformed remarkably offensively. For Vazquez and Hernandez, it will impact impending free agency, and none of the five look like they can catch fire. All could be available during a massive fire sale.
Standard: Rafael Devers continues to provide some attack in a formation that gives the opposition some room to maneuver around Raffy. Devers has just one error and .988 field percentage in an OMG moment.
STUD/DUD: JD Martinez is another player who will be a free agent. Martinez hits as expected, but his 5.4 BB% is near a career low. Expect Martinez to be traded if the Red Sox’s plunge continues.
Studs: Separating the wheat from the chaff is today’s idiom to describe the bullpen. For fans of earned run averages, Austin Davis, Ryan Brasier and Matt Strahm all log in at 2.70. They have been reasonably stable and look good compared to a few that have melted. Now turn it over.
NIPPES: Jake Diekman has a 7.4 BB/9 and 14.0 K/9. Diekman is a D&D caster – deadly or dangerous. Dead money, let me introduce you to Matt Barnes. I thought Kutter Crawford turned it around with three solid innings against Tampa. Still wrong.
STUD/DUD: Hansel Robles and Hirokazu Sawamura. Robles tends to miss and Sawamura has another lousy signing. Robles was the alleged closest for some time, which is now highly debatable. Sawamura has great tricks that don’t work as expected.
Standard: Nathan Eovaldi holds together what passes for a rotation. Eovaldi is another pending free agent, building a case for a cushy three-year contract somewhere. Meanwhile, Mr. Nasty will become the head of the club without a decision.
DUD: Perhaps Nick Pivetta’s latest start (6 IPs, no races) will be a harbinger of good days. Otherwise, it was brutal for the fast-working Pivetta.
DUD: Difficult to put Tanner Houck as a failure since he was a yo-yo regarding his role. Just put him in the rotation because he is capable of being this generation’s Ike Delock.
Standard: Rich Hill gets the seniors pass at 42. The southpaw gave Boston a great 4-5 inning start and is now on the IL.
DUD: Chaim Bloom has put it all together and is suffering the consequences. If there is a miraculous turnaround in the next few months, and Bloom is a hero.
DUD: Alex Cora has to juggle meltdowns, IL issues, COVID and Dollar Shave Club and try to get results. So far, every button pressed has mocked Cora. Everyone agrees that Cora has the respect of the players and the support of management. Yet it is difficult to fire players.
DUD: John Henry has spilled over into the sports industry, and I’m getting a little disregard for the crown jewel of the whole kaboodle. The Red Sox are his real trophy wife, and she (the fans) needs nice things.
That’s my list, and it’s certainly open to debate, but things can change, and I hope they will. Some may have been omitted either through negligence or lack of basic stats and performance. Maybe I’m in the miss category because, at my age, the stallion category is long gone. The temptation is to write off the whole team, but some didn’t disappoint while far too large a group did.