Was the Boston Red Sox 2021 season success an anomaly?

Observation of the Red Sox’s disastrous start

The 2021 Boston Red Sox came this { } close to advancing to the World Series, and a season that brought the anticipation for 2022 and possibly returning to the Fall Classic. So far, that appears to be as successful as a Pablo Sandoval diet. In 2021, the team went 17-10 through April, and this season it is 9-13. My observations are similar to many others I have seen on social media, only family-oriented.

Looking for positives is relatively easy since it is just one month in the books or an excellent seven-game winning streak away from being relevant. I am beginning to place that level of optimism into wishful thinking.

The offense has cratered, and manager Alex Cora has several players who have consistently flirted with the Mendoza Line. The positive is the bulk of them and their history I would expect resurrecting themselves from that dark place hitters fear.

The loss of Hunter Renfroe is a slight plus on defense and a far more substantial loss on offense. The evidence was rather blunt on Jackie Bradley Jr. as a liability when the offense is needed. This trade in the early stages is an F mark for Chaim Bloom. Maybe long-term, the prospects included will amount to more than trivia?

I was not enthusiastic about signing Trevor Story and thought that Seiya Suzuki would add power, speed, and defense. I know it is early, but I’m warming up for a victory lap on that one. Story, however, will eventually stop listing and will contribute.

How desperate is the organization regarding the offense? They brought back Franchy Cordero, and Triston Casas will have to wait longer in Worcester to smooth out his K% before testing out MLB pitching.

Ah – pitching! How frustrating to churn out an excellent performance only to watch it wither with a lack of offense. Nathan Eovaldi is the pitcher most likely cursed with several starts classified as “No Decision.” Nasty Nate deserves a far better fate.

The first month does have a plus side for Bloom, with Michael Wacha and Rich Hill performing relatively well. In particular, Wacha has impressed and should remain the number two starter behind Eovaldi if he remains healthy. Cora has judiciously used Hill, which is wise since Hill appears to be a five-inning pitcher.

What has happened to Nick Pivetta? The righty seems lost. In 2021, Pivetta was a competent gamer, but in 2022 Pivetta reverted to the pitching pinata he was in Philadelphia. Thankfully Tanner Houck is around to take his place or Garrett Whitlock. Whitlock, I would put in the closer role, and that sometimes turbulent situation would be resolved.

The Red Sox management is also in a position of counting on Chris Sale and James Paxton to provide rotation quality. Why does the term playing with fire come to mind? If both are solid enough that could stabilize the bullpen that has been either erratic or stellar. The bullpen is Forest Gump’s box of chocolates for me. They can prove that no lead is secure on any given day, and conversely, they can administer a lockdown of opposing bats.

The Red Sox defense has improved over 2021 with the addition of Story and Bradley. Rafael Devers has shown far better decision-making with his throws and seems to have moved into the passable category defensively. Xander Bogaerts is competent enough at short. The first base situation is in flux as Bobby Dalbec has disappointed. I thought Bobby D would light it up this season, but Cora is patient.

This team is listless and uninspired on the field. I would instead be trapped in attending a lecture on tax strategies or an insurance adjuster conference. I enjoy the theater, and so far, this team would be closed after the first act. The fortunate thing is there are more acts to follow and a chance to resurrect the woeful start.

I usually go 50 games to define a team, which leaves at least the whole month of May, and I believe that is what Bloom will do and give it time to jell. The issue is, what if they still appear to be baseball-playing zombies?

Trading the most talented on the roster is a risk since it becomes a sideways move. Devers for pitching, for example, takes a slice out of your offense only to watch the new arm(s) suffer the same fate as the staff has so far.

The minors have talent, but there is a reluctance to part with them. Is Bloom into collectibles with prospects being the collectibles? Jarren Duran, Nick Yorke, or a Brandon Walter may become bait?

The Red Sox organization continues to tread the monetary tightrope, and another team may have a payroll issue meaning grabbing someone’s contract. If they remain close in the American League East, Boston may have to take on someone else’s poor decisions.

The Red Sox fighting the O’s for last place was not what I and a considerable portion of RSN would think to happen, but it has. Now the players have to step up, and so does management to show 2021 was not an anomaly.