The Boston Red Sox have struggled to get it going in 2020.
Who could have ever guessed that trading away one of the best players in all of baseball at any position would make it difficult for the Boston Red Sox to compete in the AL East? The Mookie Betts-less Sox are currently 5-9, which puts them in dead last in the division despite a litany of star players in their lineup. With a slumping order and subpar pitching staff, Ron Roenicke has been handed quite the rough card in his first season as manager.
Pete Abraham detailed how JD Martinez hasn’t driven in a run since opening day, while third baseman Rafael Devers is striking out more than twice as much as he did last year. In addition, Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr. have combined for just three hits in their last 60 at-bats, one of which was a bunt single. Outside of Xander Bogaerts, no one is hitting.
The Red Sox rotation has been the biggest problem for the club so far.
While stars like Martinez and Devers hitting the skids is certainly cause for alarm, the pitching staff is the biggest issue Boston needs to take care of. The unfortunate loss of Eduardo Rodriguez and Chris Sale’s Tommy John surgery has thrown an already shaky rotation into complete chaos, as Triple-A starters and career relievers are being thrust into starting roles as Roenicke tries to Frankenstein a rotation together. Zack Godley and Ryan Weber aren’t exactly Luis Tiant at the top of this rotation.
Boston’s 4.87 ERA ranks 25th in all of baseball, and all the star power in the world can’t make up for a pitching staff that routinely forced the Red Sox lineup to do the impossible just to tread water.
The Red Sox still have plenty of time to snap back to reality and make a run in the AL East, but they need to something about their sleepwalking lineup and inadequate rotation if they want that championship pursuit to be anything more than a pipe dream.