The Red Sox has remained tantalizingly close to the cusp of playoff legitimacy thanks, in part, to divisional ineptness and an expanding playoff structure that will eventually match that of the National Hockey League.
This has a natural progression into what steps management must take to get over the final hurdle and be considered to sit at the adults’ table. Just maybe a replication of the famed Colorado Rockies streak of 2007 which catapulted them into the World Series only to be dismissed by the Red Sox?
Forget the fantasy and think reality.
With failure comes opportunity and that has already been displayed with Eduardo Rodriguez and Blake Swihart. Rushed? Probably. Timetables for development are often tossed when the need becomes apparent.
The Red Sox lineup is littered with the past. Players whose contracts will not be renewed and only take precious baseball time from those that represent the future. Time to just complete the overhaul since we (The fans) have been propagandized to the hilt over what an up in lights farm system Boston has.
Brian Johnson will now be given an opportunity and expect some bumps – the same type that Rodriguez painfully has had with some monstrous one inning meltdowns. Can it be any more abysmal than what is currently rolling out in the rotation?
There are two significant question marks that patrol the outfield – the outfield in Pawtucket.
Jackie Bradley has failed on several attempts in Boston, but has finally developed all those mystical hitting metrics that have evaded him in the high minors and MLB. Give him the remainder of the season.
Rusney Castillo is high-end talent, but just what happened in his brief 2015 trial by fire in Boston? Like Bradley, he may need an extended sink or swim, or to discover if Boston has spent 72.5M for a 4A player.
Ryan Hanigan has demonstrated competency at a key position – catcher. That, however, has a qualifier attached. The original goal was backup catcher that appears gone. Install Swihart as head of the catching class and see what he can do.
Henry Owens has discovered his promise the last six weeks at Pawtucket. His BB/9% is rapidly dropping while H/9% remains under 6.00. With Clay Buchholz gone and Justin Masterson ineffective, there is opportunity. Time for management to have a profiles in courage moment.
The core group the Red Sox have established is developing exponentially. Xander Bogaerts just may finish 2015 as the dominant shortstop in the American League. Mookie Betts is establishing himself as a dynamic game changer. Tome to add a few more.
Established veterans such as the very pricy Pablo Sandoval and equally pricy Hanley Ramirez and not going to be traded for obvious reasons. With Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz they provide that questionable “veteran leadership” that will be left when the old guard of Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Buchholz and a few others move on.
Boston fans are not the village idiots of baseball. They may, in fact, be the most astute following of all teams. They realize what is working and what is not, but they are 100% energized by the potential influx of promising talent. Time for management to risk it on youth since they have already risked it on some questionable trades and signings that have the team buried.
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