Boston Red Sox: Why 2015 was the bridge year 2014 was supposed to be

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Aug 19, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox first baseman Travis Shaw (47) is congratulated by designated hitter

David Ortiz

(34) after hitting a home run against the Cleveland Indians in the second inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Not enough power

Yikes. From the dizzy heights of 2013 to the ground ball lows of 2014, the Red Sox’s offensive drop off corresponded directly to their league positional drop off.

Three positions on the field were in the bottom two in the American League for OPS, those being catcher, third base and center field. When a third of your lineup is so bad that if they fell off a cliff they  wouldn’t hit the ground, it’s a recipe for disaster. The offensive black holes looked like they were there to stay in 2015 as well – for after a promising April, Boston managed only 82 runs in the month of May, the worst in baseball.

Fast forward to September and in that month the Red Sox were MLB’s leader in runs scored and had removed the deficit so successfully that they sat only behind the Toronto Blue Jays on the year. With power came runs and with runs came wins and with wins came fans and so it goes that Boston ended up, yes last, but at an improved 78-84 record that had time allowed it could have taken them further.

New Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski has his work cut out for him this offseason, but, no doubt is thankful for the groundwork laid in 2015 that leaves not as much to be accomplished from an offensive aspect. The mammoth task facing the former management to ensure Boston were able to score more runs than the opponent at the end of 2014 was so great that it led to panic buying expensive free agents on ill-advised contracts. The results were underwhelming and the focus on the batting led to a degradation on the pitching and in the end the bottom was to fall out.

II am convinced that Boston can look to 2016 with much more confidence in the run support from across the park and that the holes, no longer so gaping, can and should be filled with talent that compliments the already established base.

Next: Youngsters not yet come of age