Good news!!!! The Red Sox are 5-1 after their 6 game road trip to open the season! More good news!!!! We open our upcoming home stand against the Rays, who we took 3 out of 4 from already, and close it with the O’s, who are expected to have a down year! Even more good news!!!! We get to really test ourselves with 3 games against the Yankees sandwiched between Tampa and Baltimore!
The Sox are rolling, but despite the enthusiasm of that first paragraph, there are some worrying trends I’ve noticed. That’s not to say it’s all bad, though. Let’s dive in.
1: Xander Bogaerts has started hot. He seems to be recovered from that devastating hand injury he sustained midway through 2017 that really hampered him. So far he’s leading the team in hits (10), BA (.357), and runs (5). He’s driving the ball in the air a lot, which was his biggest issue last year.
2: Betts, Devers and Ramirez are also hitting well early on. They’ve combined for 21 hits and 10 RBI. It’s a good sign from Betts and Ramirez specifically, who both had pretty down years least season.
(Photo credit: MassLive.com)
3: As I wrote in an earlier article, the starting pitching had been fantastic, with a combined ERA just over 1 through 6 games.
4: The bullpen has been a little up and down, but mostly solid. Aside from a 6-run implosion on Opening Day, they share a combined ERA of just 1.80 since. 13 walks as a unit is the biggest concern.
5: Benintendi was supposed to really break out this year, and he may still, but he’s been very disappointing thus far. He has just 3 hits in 19 at-bats, but two of them came in the final game against Miami. Hopefully that’s a sign of his talent kicking in.
6: J.D. Martinez, Boston’s prized free agent signing of the offseason, has been horrid as well. He’s recorded only 4 hits so far, although he seems to be seeing the ball a little better the last two games. Nothing to worry too much about yet.
7: Baserunning mistakes have really plagued Boston. In just 6 games they’ve already made 6 outs on the basepaths. (Fangraphs)
8: Alex Cora is taking his rest and rotation philosophy very seriously. Every man on the roster has seen game time so far, and every single starter has gotten a day off to this point.
9: Adding to that, he’s also taking his “bullpen by committee” philosophy seriously too. No arm in the ‘pen seems to have a designated role yet, aside from Kimbrel being the clear cut first choice closer.