Lifestyle News : Red Sox Baseball Season Wrap, The Sox are in the Red



Baseball/Lifestyle: Red Sox  2017  and rating the players

Many pundits predicted in spring training the Red Sox would either win the WorldSeries or be in the World Series for the 2017 season. There were many reasons for this glowing thought.

They had  Cy Young winners in the rotation.  The bullpen was extremely solid. The team had a bevy of good hitting , power and speed. Ownership had the financial clout to acquire players if they needed to fill holes. The mix of younger and veteran players gave them the mix to keep players fresh throughout the long season.

I pretty much felt the same way and was optimistic about the season.  As a season progresses however, you start to see the holes in the team.  Injuries always happen but management did a good job in using the minors, and making trades to cover those problems.

The biggest flaw was one they could not really overcome.  The team was wildly inconsistent in their hitting and the lack of a true power  player who was a game changer never happened   Several players who had very good years in 2016 fell way below the expectations for  2017.

The Red Sox made it to the playoffs in a very tight Eastern division race. All the teams in this division had flaws but in the final thrust during the second half , the Sox played better than the Yankees and won the division by two games.  Houston their rival in the playoffs had the best hitting team  in the majors with a lineup of solid and superstar hitters. Houston was so far ahead of the pack by June , they coasted during the rest of the season.  They also acquired Justin Verlander, the former Detroit ace who gave them an experienced hard-core pitcher.

The Red Sox were simply over matched against Houston so it was no surprise they lost in 4 games. Now they will need to examine their roster, retool some of the positions with addition of a power hitter. How they acquire this player will be the crux of the off-season.  Do they need to trade a front line player or  will a free agent join them? Let’s see how the front office handles this.

Here are my grades for the front line players this season. I will also give the pitchingstaff a grade and the managerial team.

First Base, Mitch Moreland : With his 22 homers, 34 doubles and solid  fielding , Mitch was good pickup for the Sox . He did not hit for average but I did not expect that.

Grade of B

Second Base, Dustin Pedroia: Mr. Red Sox was hurt for part of the season which impacted his play.  He only played in 105 games and his power numbers were down.

Grade of C+

Shortstop, Xander Bogerts: Needs to cut down on strikeouts, with 116 K’s to his dossier.  Seemed to take a step backward this year. Still a solid player and will rebound.

 Grade of C+

Third Base, Rafael Devers:  After the fiasco of the first half of the season, the super young Rafael Devers showed why he will the third basemen for the next 10 years.  Will develop in all aspects of his game. However will he be used a trade bait for a power hitter?

Grade of B+

Left Field,  Andrew Benintendi: The chosen rookie sensation had a very good first season with nice power numbers and a respectable coverage of left field.  His streaky contrasts of being hot and stone cold did impact the overall season but as a rookie ,  his value will only go up.

Grade of B+

Center Field, Jackie Bradley Jr.  Patrols center field as good as anybody in the game as defense is his bread and butter. Still needs to learn to make better contact which may happen as he matures.

Grade of C+

Right Field, Mookie Wilson:  I am puzzled about Mookie’s performance this year. As a right fielder there is none better.  His hitting was off  by a great deal from the previous year. Perhaps not  having David Ortiz in the lineup made it tougher to get better pitches thrown to him,  but we know what Mookie is capable of.

Grade of C+

Catchers,  Christian Vasquez: He was a much better hitter than expected, with good speed too.  Still learning to catch and has the moxie to jump to another level.

Grade of B+

Sandy Leon:  An adequate backup catcher with good defensive skills and a below average bat. He did what was expected of him.

Grade of B

Starting Pitching,  This group will be graded as a whole.

The starting four of Sale, Porcello, Price and Rodriguez fell below what I thought would happen. Sale faded at times despite his overall performance, Porcello had a poor year, Price was injured and Rodriguez did not impress. The other spot starters were adequate fill ins but nothing inspiring.  Wright getting hurt early was a big hole for  the starters.  

Grade of C+

Relief Pitching,  We start with Craig Kimbrel who is at the top of the class.  The other relievers had moments but also created loads of anxiety.  Matt Barnes and Joe Kellywere those dudes. The other relief staff were pretty good and performed as they should have.

Grade of B

Managers and Coaches,  John Ferrell did a good job under duress with the whole Boston nation against him. Every manager makes game decisions that are second guessed.

The coaches seemed to be out to lunch sometimes with their poor judgment sending runners to get an extra base. Too many players were thrown out in key times. They need to stress  and practice  this vital skill in Spring 2018.



Grade of B

 Grade of Coaches,

Grade of C+

I was disappointed at the outcome of the 2017 season but not surprised. The team overall performed well but the holes were evident but can be corrected and addressed.

The Red Sox will clearly be in the hunt and a favorite to repeat their division. One or two power hitters, ( not easy to find ) better hitting performance from the regulars and the pitching with a slick uptick will  make a blend of success in 2018


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