The Boston Red Sox seem too comfortable with their roster and most concerning of all, the closer position. Meanwhile, the rest of the league has improved since the end of last season.
The 2019 season for the Boston Red Sox has been so up and down that they seem to be riding a wild roller coaster ride that is going in circles. It is becoming ever more apparent that they are desperate to find a stable and consistent force to close out games.
However, the real issue is that Dave Dombrowski and the front office do not appear to be showing any signs of desperation. I am sure many Sox fans are wondering, what is the plan for this team? They just seem to be in baseball purgatory this season.
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First, I will talk about their need for a closer. Secondly, I will look at them not upgrading at least one starting pitcher in response to the injuries they have had. Then finally, where are the Red Sox in the hunt for one of the latest trade rumors regarding the Giants potentially dealing Madison Bumgarner and closer Will Smith to the Minnesota Twins?
No disrespect to Matt Barnes but, I believed that from the beginning of the season the Red Sox needed a more permanent solution for the closing role. It was beyond frustrating to see that Craig Kimbrel got signed by the Chicago Cubs when the Red Sox had every opportunity to re-sign their closer from the 2018 World Series Championship team.
Had the Sox pulled the trigger on Kimbrel before the Cubs, Boston would almost certainly be in a better position than they are currently. They also would not have some of the ugly numbers that they have currently. It would’ve hit them hard in the wallet due to the Luxury Tax penalty but at this point, it would’ve been worth it.
The situation with the closer position is looking more dismal after each blown save. I want to provide some stats to exemplify just how much in need they are of a solid closer. According to the team stats on ESPN, the red sox have the second most blown saves in all of Major League Baseball with 16.
They are only behind the New York Mets who have 21 blown saves. The bullpen has also had an ugly save percentage number of a dismal 51%. The Sox have had plenty of chances to close out games as their save opportunities stat is currently ranked 8th in the league with 33. This figure shows that they have had plenty of chances to win close ball games and are not capitalizing on most of their opportunities.
Outside of not capitalizing on improving the closer position, the Sox have not addressed their current problems with the starting rotation. Due to the injury of Nathan Eovaldi, so far, the Sox rotation has been dragging on with only four real starters and then the fifth spot has been in limbo all season. The Sox fifth starting position has been platooned out to guys like Hector Velazquez, Brian, Johnson, Ryan Weber, Josh Smith, and Darwinzon Hernandez.
I understand completely that the Red Sox front office and every team worries about current and future cap space. However, it is unacceptable that there has not been anything done the whole season until this point about a backup plan since “Nasty Nate” went down. Though Eovaldi should come back very soon after the All-Star break, it has been irritating to see that the Red Sox have not addressed that glaring fifth starter hole.
Earlier in the season I wrote about the Red Sox possibly acquiring Dallas Keuchel from free agency and they never pulled the trigger on getting him. Watching him being picked up recently by the Atlanta Braves was frustrating. The fact of the matter is this “do nothing” approach by Dombrowski and the team has just been so irritating.
It’s completely obvious that the team needs to change something because the formula of wait and see is not going to work if they want to win this year. Just a couple of weeks ago I had also written something on why the Sox should go after Baumgarner.
According to MLB Trade Rumors, The Minnesota Twins were recently interested in Baumgarner. However, as of just a few days ago, it was rumored that the Twins are also interested in possibly acquiring Will Smith from the San Francisco Giants. The Sox need to jump in on these kinds of situations. The organization has always had a talented farm system and they can trade draft picks, and cash. It makes no sense that the team has been sitting by on acquiring players.
Though I have named a few examples of what the Sox could do, there are plenty of ways for the front office and Dombrowski to look at for improving their situation. The huge problem is that they have not done anything and they are the ones who should be worried about the improvement of this team the most.
Their lack of action tells me that they have no real sense of urgency about the current situation. It’s, even more, pressing now that the Red Sox lost again today to the Yanks and gave up another 12 runs.
The problems are just becoming more apparent and yet nothing has been done. The Sox have to catch up and cannot rely on just getting hot in the second half of the season. The fact of the matter is this team has some serious holes to patch up and nothing is being done about it. Hopefully, this whole organization will wake up and realize what needs to be done and soon.