In 2018, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. Who knew a last place spot in the AL East could come up so fast? The Red Sox have just finished another disappointing season, and the Coronavirus pause in play was not to blame for their struggles.
On Sunday September 20, the Red Sox were officially eliminated from playoff contention, becoming only the second team to be eliminated this season. The Red Sox abysmal 20-34 record led them to the fifth spot in the AL East, behind teams like the Baltimore Orioles who are by no stretch of the imagination good and are actually rebuilding. That record is the second worst in all of the AL–only behind the Pirates.
The funny thing about this Red Sox team is that they are not completely terrible. They have some offensive studs in the making like Alex Verdugo (acquired from the Mookie Betts trade) and Bobby Dalbec who both look like the real deal. These young players work well with veteran players who have already shown their value on the offensive side of the ball, like Rafeal Devers and Xander Bogeaets. The team has some upside for hitting, but the real problem comes on the pitching end.
There is one word to explain the pitching of the Red Sox this year :atrocious. The team ERA is at 5.80. If that number doesn’t make sense to you it is the 10th worst in MLB history! This is definitely not a small sample size either as the MLB has been around for about 150 years. The team only has two pitchers under an ERA of 4. That is impressively bad since so many pitchers are used throughout the season and only two are even semi-average.
Although some of the pitchers for the Red Sox this year were injured, like Chris Sale and Eduardo Roderiguez, they alone wouldn’t save the season. The best move for the Red Sox right now is to completely retool pitching. Trading or signing a starter or two should do the trick, but for the relief pitchers who come in after the starters big changes are needed. The Red Sox need to completely blow up and then rebuild the bullpen to have a chance to compete.
The Red Sox are pretty far away from being competitive, but if the front office can make the right moves this offseason and rebuild the pitching staff, a playoff run next season for the Sox would definitely be possible.