Red Sox Recap and Grades Through 88 Games


Now that the All-Star break is upon us, it gives us time to reflect on the 1st half of the 2010 season for the Red Sox. There were dozens of significant story lines leading to the Sox sitting in 3rd place in the AL East and why they had 6 All-Star game selections (even though only 3 are playing). They excelled in areas that were completely unexpected and struggled in other aspects of the game that they were specifically addressed in the off-season. Here is an incredibly abridged version of the 1st half in review and my grades on various aspects of the game. 88 down, 74 to go…


Red Sox to Save Money on Rehab Costs by Opening their Own Hospital

By far the biggest story of the 1st half for the Red Sox has been there unbelievable revolving door or injuries to key players. Currently, the Sox have 11 players on the DL and another handful who are day-to-day or playing through minor injuries. The Sox have seen 3 of their 4 infielders get injured and about 48032 outfielders go down. Of the 10 opening day starters, 5 have spent or are currently on the DL and 3 others have missed games due to injury.

The positive through all of this is that the Sox are only 5 games back in the AL East and are getting many of their stars back within the next 4-6 weeks. Once, or if, this team is healthy and back up to game speed, they have the potential to be a force in September and into the playoffs. The big question is if the injuries will stop occurring long enough for a playoff run.

After Roller Coaster Few Months, All-Star Break is Much Needed Rest

If the biggest headline is related to injuries, than the 2nd relates to the roller coaster the 2010 season has been so far. The injuries factor in, but even before the Sox started dropping like flies the team played awful baseball. David Ortiz hit .238 in April with just 1 home run and the team appeared to be missing any chemistry and drive to play hard. Sparked by Dustin Pedroia’s power and attitude, the Sox turned their 4th place 8+ game deficit into a 2nd place position, just 0.5 games behind the New York Yankees.

Since that point, the Sox have drifted slightly, as they began to finally show the effect 3290834203 injuries had on the club. No matter what players are on the field, if they continue to play hard and as a unit, this team can hang in there as long as needed.

Minor League Call-ups Keep the Sox Alive

The first big story surrounding a minor league call-up this year was Darnell McDonald and his heroics almost immediately after getting the call. Who knew then that McDonald would be the elder-statesmen in the outfield and the injuries kept piling on. Another huge storyline was Daniel Nava, who can hit anything at almost any time and is in his early 20’s. His strong bat has also turned heads and it will be difficult to send him back down to the minors if Jacoby Ellsbury or Jeremy Hermida gets back soon.

On top of the 2 outfielders, young SP Felix Doubront has done a great job filling in for Clay Buchholz in his absence. Overall, it bodes well for the Red Sox to have deep talent in their minor league system, and now deep talent with more major league experience. Most organizations would struggle through these periods, but Theo and his development do an excellent job harboring and growing young talent, so they can perform when needed.


Overall: B-

Overall, the Red Sox deserve a lot of credit for being in a strong position at the All-Star break considering the adversity they had to push through. The defense was poor and the relief pitching was below average, but offensively and the starting pitchers were solid.

Defense: C-

All we heard leading into this season was the incredible improvement this team made in the off-season related to their defense. Run prevention was used often and became common vocabulary within the Boston media. This season has been anything but solid defensively all across the board, especially when looking at the ‘new defensive upgrades’ the Sox made. Although Adrian Beltre, Marco Scutaro and Mike Cameron have had their share of strong plays, their 27 combined errors. The Red Sox are ranked 9th in the league with 51 errors on the season.

Offense: A-

By far the best area for the Sox this year has been their offensive firepower, the biggest area of concern in the Spring. The Sox sit 3rd in the league in average (.276) and sit 2nd behind the Toronto Blue Jays in home runs (118). They have out-slugged the competition with a league-leading 211 doubles, 29 higher than the 2nd ranked club the Detroit Tigers. Despite injuries, the Sox have 5 guys with 10+ home runs and 3 players with 50+ rbis. If the offense continues to hit, a less than perfect defense can be overlooked.

Starting Pitching: B+

The Sox pitching staff finished the 1st half of the year 10th in era in the AL, but have 2 guys (Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz) with 10+ wins and sub-3 eras. Through 88 games, 8 different pitchers have started for the Sox and 1 has a losing record (Tim Wakefield). Wakefield has been the weakest link so far, with a 3-7 record, 5.22 era and having allowed 15 home runs in 100 innings. When the Sox get Josh Beckett back they will be a much stronger staff, assuming he is at 100%.

Relief Pitching: C-

You don’t have to look very far to find the weakest part of the Red Sox club so far in 2010. Although they have gotten strong performances from Daniel Bard overall and Jonathan Papelbon has been somewhat solid, the rest of the ‘pen has lacked any consistency or ability to get out of tough jams. A testament to the weak Sox bullpen is that they are 24 for 36 in save opportunities, putting them 2nd to last in the league in number of blown saves. That’s not all on Jonathan Papelbon, he only have blown 3 chances in 23 opportunities, while Daniel Bard, Hideki Okajima and Manny Delcarmen have combined for the other 9.