The Red Sox had the best record in spring training last year and got off to a great start during the regular season. Now they have the worst record.
A year ago this time, the Boston Red Sox were starting a new beginning. Alex Cora was in his first year as a big league manager after winning the World Series with the Astros the year before. There was a new young vibrant voice in the clubhouse and the players were all in.
The Red Sox went 22-9 last year in spring training and were in first place in the Grapefruit League. A great start in spring training helped when the regular season started. The Sox would go 17-2 in their first 19 games in April. After they won the World Series, Cora emphasized how important it was to get a good start in spring training which helped carry them throughout the season and playoffs.
This year it’s a different story. The Sox are last in the Grapefruit league with a 7-13 record. Now we can say we shouldn’t put much into spring training games because they don’t count. However, it would be contradicting to say that they don’t matter just because they had a great record last year and a bad one this year. The question now is what does this record indicate for the regular season? Will they be off to a hot start or a slow start based on their spring training?
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The relievers this spring training are worse than a year ago. Some will be going down to the minor leagues but several relievers with a shot at opening the season in the Major League bullpen have seen their ERA’s go up. Bobby Poyner‘s ERA went from 0.87 last year to 8.22 this year. Hector Velazquez went from a 5.30 ERA a year ago to a 9.72. Brandon Workman‘s ERA went from 5.59 to 6.00 a year later.
As for the starting pitching, Chris Sale is the only one with a perfect spring. His ERA went from 3.07 last year to an outstanding 0.00 a year later. David Price went from having a great spring last year with a 2.27 ERA to 6.00. Rick Porcello went from a 4.50 ERA to 6.00. As for Nathan Eovladi he wasn’t on the team yet last year but his ERA went from 3.24 a year ago with the Tampa Bay Rays, to 3.00 a year later with the Red Sox. Last year, all four pitchers gave up 54 hits altogether.
From what I see, the Sox really need some help with their relief pitching. David Price and Rick Porcello have had some issues with their ERA’s this spring but have time to fix it before the season starts. Price got over that pitching in October hump and holds all the cards now. I’m not really too concerned about the offense. They really do have a powerful one and guys who can get on base. I Think they’ll be fine going into the regular season as long as Cora can find the guys he trusts in the bullpen.