Monday, April 19, 2010
During the offseason we were bombarded with articles talking about defensive metrics and how the 2010 Red Sox were going to be drastically improved as a result of these measures. The Sox decided to not give Jason Bay and his 35 HRs the money this offseason and instead went for Marco Scutaro, Adrian Beltre and Mike Cameron (in addition to John Lackey). The collective defensive trio had UZR's through the roof and were supposed to save their pitchers over a run per game. there's just been a flaw or two to this philosophy early on this season. Their pitching has been crap and their hitting has been worse so honestly defense means shit when you're not doing anything else.
Coming into today the Red Sox ranked 25th in the Majors in runs scored at 48 runs through 12 games. Throw in todays two run output and the rest of todays slate of MLB games and the Sox will likely slip even further down the chain. Meanwhile their team ERA came in in the bottom half of major league baseball and after John Lackey's POS performance will slide even further down the chain. Simply put through two weeks of the season the Red Sox offseason plan is not going well.
Being that it's just April 19th it's definitely to early to throw the entire season into a panic mode, but their has to be significant cause for concern. The Red Sox are currently 6 games behind the Rays and 5.5 games behind the Yankees. They didn't sit that far out of the division until the 114th game of the season last year, at which point they were ample games ahead of the Rays. The Red Sox pitching should straighten itself out as planned (mostly Lester pitching like a non-Douche) but the offensive does have big holes and the depth is in question. The Red Sox are carrying two DHs this season and Mr. Papi has yet to do any damage. JD Drew has started off in a miserable funk. The Youkster and Victor have yet to get hot. The absence of Jason Bay has already been felt and will continue to be felt throughout the season. One has to wonder if the Red Sox will come to the point this season where they will be forced to pull the trigger on trading off some of their young pitching / prospects for a legitimate outfield bat.
The biggest reason for concern in Boston however shouldn't be their own roster, but the rosters of their division rivals. The Rays pitching staff is off to a phenomenal start and a case could easily be made that the Rays have a much more dynamic offense. They have a 6 game head start. They have a 4-0 lead in the season series with the Sox and they certainly have a lot of confidence right now. Meanwhile the Bronx Bombers proved to be the superior team last season both in the regular and postseason are clearly clicking on all cylinders at the start of the season and look like a team that will eclipse the 100 win total, perhaps with ease.
If the Red Sox continue to bury themselves waiting for their pitching to hit up, they just might dig themselves a hole too deep to climb out of.