The Boston Red Sox first half produced 44 wins. What will the second half produce?
The Boston Red Sox will need some Spackle for the second half, which is actually a good thing since it is just reflective of a minor repair and not the gutting and total reconstruction of a damaged area. In this instance, the damaged area is the Red Sox and the holes are all repairable.
Just what has to happen in the second half to produce a tad more than the 44 wins of the first half? Players and management both have a responsibility and the player portion are key with management taking the leadership in supplying reinforcements.
Pitching is key and has been so noted. The dynamic offense has covered up the faulty arms and the arms are the ones that must lead the charge. First up is Faux Ace, one David Price. Faux is a term to imply imitation and not the real thing. Price has not – as he so eloquently has put it – an ace. Get the Price that was in Toronto for the second half of 2015 and you may have a division.
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The rotation is amiss and the solid portions are Steven Wright and Rick Porcello. Both seem to have certainly stabilized a disintegrating rotation. Their continued success is a must and with it the recovery of Eduardo Rodriguez to some semblance of 2015. That happens, you have four solid – a tough term to define in this ragged world of the AL East – starters.
The fifth slot is either management pulling the massive trade trigger or going with the starter spinning wheel – the wheel with the various names attached – that manager John Farrell uses to just spin and determine who will get the pitching honors.
The bullpen is like that warning light that comes on to tell you your engine is in full meltdown. Craig Kimbrel apparently feels the necessity to walk the first batter he faces, Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara give one a nervous tick and the other relief roles are either meatballs served up or rib eye. The bullpen needs an upgrade or stabilization. This fails then you just may see an angst-ridden fan base.
The offense needs little, in my trusted opinion. Key elements such as Brock Holt and Blake Swihart will stretch out the bench and give depth and solid options. The regular Tour de Force is fun to watch as long as you are not on the mound. They have it all from long at-bats, line drives dancing all over the place, good pop from top to bottom, appropriate speed and the runs keep coming.
They only need to solidify the lineup is another quality bat off the bench and they most certainly will be available. That added you have the coverage needed for when a quality contributor like Chris Young pulls up lame.
Farrell needs less time explaining game decisions. The ever inquisitive Boston media has what is a daily interrogation of just why a certain game decision was made? I firmly support that since they are just rehashing what the entire nation was wondering. Game decisions and especially bullpen use have cost some potential wins. Less explaining means more solid decision making.
The Red Sox are baseball blessed to be in a division where every other team has holes you could easily navigate a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier through. The division is one of attrition and just who has an arm ready to fall off or a bat that has suddenly decided to have a close personal encounter with the Mendoza Line. The Red Sox best chance at a division title may be found in the ineptness of their competitors. Start by piling up more division wins.
So after all this the answer to 90-92 wins are simple: Price must get his you know what together, followed by E-Rod doing exactly the same, the hitting continues to flourish, our fifth starter is a better option than their fifth starter, Farrell manages like he hasn’t had a stroke and somehow the bullpen throws fewer innings than the starters. Simple. Right?
The outlook from my perspective is positive. Just hope David Ortiz stays in one piece for a possible fourth ring.