Red Sox Report Card for May
It’s been quite a turn around for our beloved Red Sox since the last report card in April. Many players received below acceptable grades during the first month of play and even Bobby Valentine was subject to discussion asking if he was the right manager for the job.
But a lot has changed over the past 31 days despite the Red Sox still sitting in last place in the AL East; they are finally over .500, the bullpen is developing into one of the most reliable in all of baseball and the offense continues to produce even though the injury list is longer than A-Rods list of girlfriends. With that, let’s grade the players on their performances for the month of May.
Will Middlebrooks – a downturn during the middle of the month had some wondering if the scouting report on him would do him in. But hits in 9 out of his last 10 games to go with 6 homers, 21 RBI and a .316 average for the month have the phenom earning high marks.
Scott Atchison – didn’t allow an earned run during the entire month in 17.0 innings of relief. If that doesn’t call for an A+ I don’t know what does.
Vicente Padilla – has inherited 16 base runners and not one has scored.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – emerging as an all-star candidate behind the plate, Salty hit .308 with 6 homers and 15 RBI in the month.
Felix Doubront – he’s proven to be the most reliable starter going 4-2 with a 3.71 ERA for the month. His inability to get past the 6th inning and be more effective with his pitch count prevents an A+.
Kevin Youkilis – a small sample that could almost warrant an imcomplete but Youkilis has swung a hot stick since his return hitting .313 for the month in which he went 10-for-32. Plus I hope to increase his trade value!
Andrew Miller – has looked like a different player since returning from triple-A with a nice 2.38 ERA to show for it.
Scott Podsednik – another small sample pool but so far so good for the former Phillies outfielder who went 8-for-18 at the plate.
Josh Beckett – this grade could bring some heated debate, but consider after Golf Gate, Beckett is 2-1 with a 2.23 ERA and has shown why he is the leader of this staff (on the field only). His stinkbomb start against Cleveland holds him back from getting an A.
Dustin Pedroia – the recently discovered thumb injury explain the sudden drop in average below .300 but a nice month from Pedey overall hitting .290 with 2 long balls and 14 RBI.
Mike Aviles – after a hot start in April, Aviles has cooled somewhat but still a productive month including a 4-for-4 game against Seattle.
Alfredo Aceves – what started out as a stellar month dropped in late May with the home runs he served up and the blown save to Tampa Bay.
Matt Albers – surprisingly he’s improving as evidenced by his 1.98 ERA for the month.
Kelly Shoppach – limited playing time hurts Shop, but respectable numbers for May: .281, 2 HR, 4 RBI.
Daniel Nava – another one of the kids making the most of his time in the big leagues. Nava hit .277 with 2 HR and 15 RBI in May including the double off of Verlander’s 100mph fastball.
David Ortiz – a batting average of .250 hurts Big Papi’s grade this month but still had 6 homers and 15 RBI.
Rich Hill – some inconsistencies hold Hill back from a higher grade, but when he’s on he’s a valuable left-handed pitcher.
Franklin Morales – similar to Hill, Morales has been great in most outings only to stink in others.
Ryan Sweeney – injury time and multiple no-hit games earn Sweeney this grade. Some multi-hit games are a promising sign going forward.
Jon Lester – a record of 2-2 for the month with a 4.97 ERA which saw the lefty give up at least four earned runs in his last three starts has him flirting with a failing grade. His first three starts in May save him from an F, which included a complete game against Seattle.
Adrian Gonzalez – 2 home runs, 12 RBI and a .265 batting average for the month is not Gonzalez like. His 13 doubles in May save him from failing.
Clay Buchholz – his last start pulls him up from an F, but Buchholz is still under performing. In May he had an ERA of 5.64 with 13 walks and 17 K’s.
Marlon Byrd – one of the few to receive poor grades this month, Byrd hit just .246 with 1 homer and 4 RBI. He may be the odd man out when the regulars get healthy…..hopefully.
Daniel Bard – 21 walks to just 13 strikeouts in the month is just not good enough for a pitcher who wants so badly to start. His last few starts have been better, but still not acceptable overall.
Nick Punto – a nice defensive option who can’t hit his weight at the plate and he only weighs 190lbs.
Overall Pitching: B+
The bullpen pulls this grade up but the starters have improved.
Overall Position Players: B+
The offense is doing their job on multiple nights including a big victory against Justin Verlander.
Manager Bobby Valentine: A
He’s dealt with a plethora of injuries and is pushing all the right buttons.
Overall Team Performance: B+
The Sox have managed to climb above .500 and when you take out the first 9 games of the month in which they went 1-9, the Red Sox were 14-5 the rest of the way.
What are your thoughts on the grades? Agree or disagree I welcome all comments.