Goals the Red Sox Should Have Going Forward


For the first time since June 8th, the Boston Red Sox climbed from the hallows of the A.L. East. Indeed, this young team (average age of 27.7) sits alone in fourth place in the division a half game over the Tampa Bay Rays. They’ve won six of their last ten and are coasting on a three game winning streak. As bad as the season has been, with two weeks left, the Red Sox should keep some goals in mind for the remainder of the season.

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One goal is to have Xander Bogaerts lead the American League in hits. Bogaerts is no-doubt the best all-around short stop in baseball this season. Following a brilliant postseason performance after he was called up in 2013, Bogaerts struggled the following year both at the plate and defensively. His 12 home runs that year was the only semi-bright spot to his season.

This year, Bogaerts has picked it up a bit. He is second in the A.L. in batting average hitting .323 trailing only Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera‘s .337. He leads all short stops with a 4.4 WAR, and 78 RBIs. His 110 wRC+ is good enough for third among qualified short stops. He is fourth in plate appearances with  598 and second in OBP at .353.

His 182 hits on the year leave him two behind Houston’s Jose Altuve and five behind the leader Dee Gordon.

Next, the Red Sox young pitchers need to show that they can really hang in the big leagues. For the most part, Eduardo Rodriguez has shown that. After being traded for reliever Andrew Miller last season, Rodriguez posted fantastic numbers in Triple-A Pawtucket prompting a call up. In 20 starts so far, Rodriguez has shown he has the ability to strikeout hitters (18.8 K%).

Sep 8, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Henry Owens (60) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Henry Owens on the other hand has not been in the big leagues as long as Rodriguez. But he too put up great numbers with Pawtucket this year, prompting his call up. Owens doesn’t have an overpowering fastball, but its the deception of his change up and other off speed pitches that send opposing hitters back to the dugout. Owens’ downfall is his control, but that could come at anytime as he has already posted the second lowest BB% of his career (9.1%). If these two guys keep it up, they will find themselves in the starting rotation for next year.

Next come maybe the two biggest disappointments of the 2015 season. Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. The two signed with Boston in the off season for a combined $180 million. Pablo Sandoval had to ditch switch hitting and become a left-handed hitter. Hanley Ramirez had to play left field after playing his entire Major League career as an infielder. So, what can Boston do to fix these contracts? Many would say trade them, but after the seasons they’ve both had this year no one will take those contracts.

No one will want to sign Hanley Ramirez as an outfielder as he has proved he is the worst defender in baseball. No one wants Sandoval’s contract because his OPS has dropped each of the last four seasons. Hanley Ramirez needs to be moved to first base. If this happens, his trade value would go up he could strike interest in many more teams that could sign him as a first baseman/ designated hitter. If he can post offensive numbers similar to his career, he will be a huge asset to the Red Sox

Sandoval needs to go back to switch hitting. In 2014 when he was with the Giants, he was a full-time switch-hitter and posted a lower K%, and a higher BB%. He also showed better ISO, AVG, OBP, SLG%, wRC+ and WAR. If Sandoval can go back to switch hitting and post offensive numbers similar to his career, he will be a huge asset to the Red Sox.

The Red Sox have twelve games left. They play teams in the A.L. East in nine of those games. They sit one game behind the Baltimore Orioles for third place right now. If the Red Sox can finish the season in third place, that would show the young players how to win.

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