Wednesday, June 7, 2023

A Real Good Team in a Real Good Division


The Boston Red Sox are currently 31-30, which is a better record than 15 out of 30 MLB teams. This means they have a better record than the New York Mets, San Diego Padres, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Guardians and Seattle Mariners. 

...they are in last place in the AL East. Meaning that right now, they're the best last place team in baseball. 

It's honestly both fitting and non-fitting for the Red Sox. In recent years, the Sox have landed in last due to some facet of their team, like the entire rotation, the heart of the lineup or just management in general, not working. Mostly it's been shitty rotations that have sunk them to the bottom of a highly-contentious division. This year, their rotation is marginally better. Yes, Sale, the kingmaker, is down, but people like Tanner Houck, Brayan Bello and the surprise return of James Paxton have kept the rotation afloat. I'll add that it looks nothing like the team thought it would going in, with Nick Pivetta and Corey Kluber flirting with relief spots, and Sale once again getting hurt.'s working somehow. Almost in spite of itself, this pitching rotation is actually getting things done. 

Now...the difference is that with the other four AL East teams I can name one desert island starter. You know, Corey Kluber, Kevin Gausman, Tyler Wells, Shane McClanahan. Can't really do that with the Sox. Who of these guys would I call on in a time of ultimate need over nearer options? I dunno, man. I'd say Paxton but I don't trust his durability. And that likely explains why the Sox are still in last; their rotation is better, but still not where it should be. Honestly, all those years of paying big money to people like Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello and Nate Eovaldi sort of made it hard for the pitching prospects to develop normally, which is how you get Connor Seabold sputtering in Colorado, Houck and Whitlock being used in multiple roles over the last few years, and Bello being seen both as almost a mirage and a bastion of hope at the same time.

Meanwhile, the Sox still have Rafael Devers playing as well as he always has, Verdugo, Yoshida and Duran make a great outfield, Connor Wong has become an excellent replacement for Christian Vazquez, and this team can still outhit you when necessary. I think that not having to face the Yankees or Rays as often has ballooned them a bit, and make them look a bit more intimidating than they are. The Sox are still very good, and have a lot of really nice perks that still give them something of a shot, but I don't know if this means they're a playoff team. 

Coming Tomorrow- I kinda wrote him off after he limped out of Detroit, yet here he is.

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