Hey everyone I’m back! Sorry I was away from the writing department of things, but with finishing up grad school (received a degree in Public Administration), moving and other things in life it just got too much to manage at the time. But now I’m back and ready to give some observations on the 2021 Redsox for you.
First and foremost, the 2021 Redsox are not a fluke, they are a good baseball team. With a good bullpen, a pretty decent rotation even despite recent struggles and a legit lineup with one of the best middle of the order’s in baseball with JD Martinez, Xander Boegarts and Rafael Devers. Along with the return of Alex Cora as manager. They have ingredients for success, but there are flaws. While this is a good team they aren’t a wagon like they were in 2018. It’s because they don’t have a true ace at the moment, but that could change later this summer and they have some holes in the lineup especially in the leadoff spot and at the bottom of the order.
The flaws on this team are real, but they don’t necessarily need to be fixed by trades per say. A lot of their solutions are within the organization already. First, not having a true ace might end in the coming weeks as it looks like Chris Sale is on track to return in late July/early August which is basically a deadline acquisition to a team that will probably be a heated playoff push.
Chris Sale being back in the mix will give Redsox a major boost in the rotation not only as the ace. It will probably give the Redsox a chance to potentially use a 6 man rotation for a couple weeks to easy in Sale and other pitchers like Rodriguez and Eovaldi who haven’t pitched a ton of innings in the last couple of seasons. Given Eovaldi’s arm injury history it might not be a bad idea to keep their arms fresh down the stretch.
Second, the lower half of the lineup and leadoff spot need to be tinkered with a bit. Alex Verdugo needs to be the lead off hitter from here on out. No more Kike Hernandez or Marwin Gonzalez trying to leading off. Those experiments have not worked, it is time to give Verdugo a chance and it will be better for offense as the season goes on. Also another move to counter that would be to call up Jarren Duran and solidify the bottom of the order and outfield defensively better. This would lead to Gonzalez and/or Hernandez to become bench players which would make your bench deeper which is important. Also calling Duran up could provide a spark for the team during the stretch run.
Finally this team is fun and has some grit to them which is a good sign for a team that would go on a deep run, but things need to be addressed and internal moves need to happen. It does really look like we have meaningful baseball this summer and potentially this September. Which given what’s been happening in the world and in the landscape of Boston sports over the last 18 months it is probably just what the doctor ordered.
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