From worst to first to worst again. As much as I love them, they still find ways to be annoying. Only three teams had fewer victories that than the Boston Red Sox last year. 2015 should be a little different. I don’t expect them to kick ass, but I do expect them to contend in a division that has gotten weaker. Spring training is underway in Florida. That being said, lets take a look at where I place this years Red Sox team as of right now.
Starting Rotation C –
This is the one spot where the Red Sox could run into some serious trouble. They don’t have an ace! Lester is gone and while Lackey wasn’t exactly a stud, he also wasn’t embarrassing. Now we have a rotation where Clay Buchholz is actually in the discussion to start opening day!? (8-11 5.34 ERA in 2014) Rounding out the rotation is Rick Porcello (15-13 3.43 ERA in 2014) Wade Miley (8-12 4.34 ERA in 2014) Justin Masterson (7-9 5.88 ERA in 2014) and Joe Kelly. The Red Sox must be praying that with the exception of Porcello and Kelly that one of these guys has an incredible bounce back year. As it stands on paper, nothing looks scary about this rotation. The good news is that every AL-East team seems to have a rotation problem of its own.
There wasn’t much on the open market this off season for relief help. They traded for Anthony Vavaro 3-3 (2.63 ERA in 2014) from the Braves. He is well known for being tough on left handed hitters who are batting only .196 against him. They acquired Robbie Ross from Texas who was a very solid relief pitcher until Texas tried to convert him to a starter last year. The results were a total disaster. If Ross rebounds and returns to his form as a reliever, we should expect great things from him this season. Hopefully, he isn’t damaged from last years experiment and the sox don’t re-live what they went through with Daniel Bard a few years ago. (Remember him!) Lefty Craig Breslow returns hoping to redeem himself from a horrible 2014. In the back end of the relief core you still have Tazawa as the setup guy and Uehara as the closer. Lets hope the struggles Uehara had toward the end of the season last year were just a fluke.
Offense B Defense B
Boston has reloaded with what looks like a great offense on paper. However, there is a lot of question marks that will give any Red Sox fan a headache. Hanley Ramirez is a good addition, but can he stay healthy? Can Dustin Pedroia not hurt his wrist or finger or any part of his hand for that matter!? Is this the year Bogaerts finally becomes the star that everyone seems to claim he will be? What the hell are we going to get out of Shane Victorino? They paid a shit ton of money for Rusney Castillo late last season. Is he major league ready? They just gave a 19 year old Cuban free agent a $31.5 million dollar signing bonus. Where the hell do you stick him? Are they really going to put someone making that much money in the minor league!? Does the team finally give up on Bradley Jr? The only two people I’m not worried about is newcomer Pablo Sandoval and David Ortiz. They have been consistent long enough that we know what to expect from them.
Throughout the course of a season, so much can change. It’s almost impossible for any team to finish the same way they started. Players will always get hurt, traded and called up from the minors. It’s a looooong 162 game season of ups and downs. Let the 2015 Boston Red Sox roller coaster begin!