1: Strengthen the Starting Rotation
Boston’s pitching staff got its backside whooped something fierce this past season. At different times in the year, we would see the starters be as lights-out as humanly possible and then be in shambles the next. The Red Sox have one of the best starting rotations on paper but they just didn’t show up. A majority of the rotation would battle injuries all season long, hindering their success.
Chris Sale suffered from shoulder inflammation as well as other ailments throughout the year. Not to forget whatever the mystery illness was that took him out for much of the postseason. Sale signed a massive 5-year/$145M extension this past winter and hasn’t quite lived up to it.
David Price would also need to be shut down with weeks left in the season due to a cyst on his left wrist. Price had moments of beauty on the mound this year but was also shadowed with poor outings. The cyst could be the culprit for much of it but the southpaw wasn’t healthy for much of the year. He had the cyst removed and is on the mend with a goal of rebounding big in 2020.
Nathan Eovaldi literally spent half the season on the IL for a total of 93 days injured this season. He re-signed with Boston as a free agent for a wild 4-years/$60M. That contract is already paying off well. Rick Porcello is the lone free agent in the rotation an is unlikely to return to the Red Sox.
Eduardo Rodriguez was the only member of the starting rotation that offered anything in the way of success this year. He finished the season at 19-6 in 203.1 IP with 213 strikeouts, all are career highs for the lefty.
The Red Sox need to get their pitchers healthy as possible heading into spring training. Alex Cora also needs to get his starters some work this spring as I feel that was a major component in their performances seriously lacking this year. Boston will also need to search for a fifth starter in a free agent market that isn’t ripe with them.
Getting everyone healthy will be the most important thing for the Red Sox this winter. If they can find a fifth starter on the market then good for them. But with a budget that’s beyond tight, I just don’t see that happening. They’ll need to rely on their core four and the bullpen to get them back to October.