Time for some 2018 Red Sox Baseball Talk

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Time for some 2018 Red Sox Baseball Talk

The most impor­tant sign of spring has arrived, the grape­fruit league is now in full swing and the Boston Red Sox have started Spring 62.

Over the last year all I heard on local sports radio was how the Yan­kees (61 so far this spring) are the team to beat how their acqui­si­tion of slug­ger Gian­carlo was going to make all the dif­fer­ence and unless the Red Sox put together a deal for some­one like J. D. Mar­tinez they were doomed.

Well the Red Sox have Mar­tinez now but it’s my opin­ion that even before Boston picked him up, they were well posi­tioned to not only repeat as Divi­sion Cham­pi­ons but to Chal­lenge the both the Yan­kees and the Astros (who despite win­ning the World Series last year seem to be get­ting lit­tle atten­tion) this year and you only have to look at the stats to see why.

On the mound the fact is that other than Chris Sale, 2017 was a dis­as­ter for the Boston Pitch­ing Staff.

We lost our knuck­le­baller Steven Wright, who had gone 136 the pre­vi­ous year to injury after only 24 innings vs the 156 23 he pitched the sea­son before

David Price found him­self injured mak­ing only 11 starts vs 35 the year before and while effec­tive out of the bullpen saw his innings drop from 230 to 74 23.

Mean­while Rick Por­cello fol­lowed up his CY Young sea­son with one his worst sea­son ever set­ting per­sonal worsts for Hits, Runs, Earned Runs and Home­runs given up.

At the bat things weren’t all that much bet­ter if you look at the numbers.

The team bat­ting avg of .258 was only 3 points above the MLB avg
The team was dead last in the AL in Home Runs hit­ting only 168 the whole sea­son. last in the AL No Red Sox player hit 25 home runs last sea­son for the first time in a quar­ter cen­tury (1992).
They were near the bot­tom in total bases in the AL (only the Angels, White Sox and Toronto had fewer)
And if that wasn’t enough they were 3rd in the AL and 4th in the majors in hit­ting into dou­ble plays.

Yet despite this not only did the team win 93 games and the divi­sion but any­one who watched them last year will remem­ber the excite­ment par­tic­u­larly in the late innings as the team always man­aged to come back to win. All dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son some­one always manged a key hit, a big steal just when the team needed it.

And this was despite Dustin Pedroia, Xan­der Bog­a­rts, Jackie Bradley, Han­ley Ramirez and even Mookie Betts all hav­ing sea­sons far below their pro­duc­tion of the pre­vi­ous year.

How do you think the Red­Sox would do in 2018 if even half of those play­ers returned to their 2016 ways, not to men­tion if they get back the nearly 300 innings lost from Price and Wright and Por­cello had even an aver­age year instead of a Cy Young one?

I sub­mit and sug­gest that it would be more been enough to win the divi­sion again even with­out a JD Mar­tinez. With him the East will be theirs to lose and with solid pitch­ers behind Chris Sale to help carry the load there is no rea­son why Boston shouldn’t go a lot far­ther than they did last year in the playoffs.

To be sure there are some wild cards, a new man­ager, how you fit Mar­tinez in the lineup and ques­tions about a rookie third base­man and Pedroia’s advanc­ing age, plus you never know where or when the injury bug will strike.

But it seems to me the smart money this year is on Boston to repeat and chal­lenge the Yan­kees and Astros come the post season.

It’s cer­tainly not going to be a bor­ing year.

The most important sign of spring has arrived, the grapefruit league is now in full swing and the Boston Red Sox have started Spring 6-2.

Over the last year all I heard on local sports radio was how the Yankees (6-1 so far this spring) are the team to beat how their acquisition of slugger Giancarlo was going to make all the difference and unless the Red Sox put together a deal for someone like J. D. Martinez they were doomed.

Well the Red Sox have Martinez now but it’s my opinion that even before Boston picked him up, they were well positioned to not only repeat as Division Champions but to Challenge the both the Yankees and the Astros (who despite winning the World Series last year seem to be getting little attention) this year and you only have to look at the stats to see why.

On the mound the fact is that other than Chris Sale, 2017 was a disaster for the Boston Pitching Staff.

We lost our knuckleballer Steven Wright, who had gone 13-6 the previous year to injury after only 24 innings vs the 156 2/3 he pitched the season before

David Price found himself injured making only 11 starts vs 35 the year before and while effective out of the bullpen saw his innings drop from 230 to 74 2/3.

Meanwhile Rick Porcello followed up his CY Young season with one his worst season ever setting personal worsts for Hits, Runs, Earned Runs and Homeruns given up.

At the bat things weren’t all that much better if you look at the numbers.

The team batting avg of .258 was only 3 points above the MLB avg
The team was dead last in the AL in Home Runs hitting only 168 the whole season. last in the AL No Red Sox player hit 25 home runs last season for the first time in a quarter century (1992).
They were near the bottom in total bases in the AL (only the Angels, White Sox and Toronto had fewer)
And if that wasn’t enough they were 3rd in the AL and 4th in the majors in hitting into double plays.

Yet despite this not only did the team win 93 games and the division but anyone who watched them last year will remember the excitement particularly in the late innings as the team always managed to come back to win. All during the regular season someone always manged a key hit, a big steal just when the team needed it.

And this was despite Dustin Pedroia, Xander Bogarts, Jackie Bradley, Hanley Ramirez and even Mookie Betts all having seasons far below their production of the previous year.

How do you think the RedSox would do in 2018 if even half of those players returned to their 2016 ways, not to mention if they get back the nearly 300 innings lost from Price and Wright and Porcello had even an average year instead of a Cy Young one?

I submit and suggest that it would be more been enough to win the division again even without a JD Martinez. With him the East will be theirs to lose and with solid pitchers behind Chris Sale to help carry the load there is no reason why Boston shouldn’t go a lot farther than they did last year in the playoffs.

To be sure there are some wild cards, a new manager, how you fit Martinez in the lineup and questions about a rookie third baseman and Pedroia’s advancing age, plus you never know where or when the injury bug will strike.

But it seems to me the smart money this year is on Boston to repeat and challenge the Yankees and Astros come the post season.

It’s certainly not going to be a boring year.