Red Sox: Grading the first 50 games
By Rick McNair
On defense, this is a sloppy team. How did this change so much in a year? The Red Sox collectively are ranked in the middle of the AL defensive pack. The first order is the positive and that is Dustin Pedroia, Bradley, and Betts. All three can be defensive highlights on any given night. Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon are quite capable and Mitch Moreland may not win another Gold Glove, but he does lead all AL first basemen in defensive runs saved (DRS).
The hole at third is not only offense, but also defense as the Red Sox collectively rank 14th with a -7 for DRS. Bogaerts is steady at third, but has a -8 DRS and is -0.8 on UZR. If the Red Sox had a talented minor league shortstop that could provide some hitting and above average glove work you could see XB sent to third.
Andrew Benintendi has been “average” defensively in left field. The same applies to his sojourn in center field, but sometimes the defensive metrics can be misleading. Deven Marrero has clamped down third in recent games defensively, but his hitting is still a work in progress or lack of progress.
The Red Sox are ranked 7th in the AL defensively and Red Sox Nation should expect more. There have been far too many mental errors that have given up runs unnecessarily.
First 50 Grade – C+