Sunday, April 28, 2024

Boxed Kutter


Unfortunately, Trevor Story getting hurt within 2 weeks of the season's opening was just the beginning for the Red Sox. Since then, Nick Pivetta, Brayan Bello, Garrett Whitlock, Isaiah Campbell and now Triston Casas have all gotten hurt. That is most of the starting rotation, as well as the starting 1st baseman who was looking to keep the team moving this year. 

Ultimately, there are immediate effects. The Boston infield, and I do not say this lightly, stinks. Both Romy Gonzalez and Vaughn Grissom are also hurt, so the nearest option at 2nd is Enmanuel Valdez, who is hitting .154 with more strikeouts than Casas had. He's also somehow a below-average infielder. David Hamilton, the backup shortstop, is hitting .211 with 8 hits in 38 at-bats. When your DP combo is...Valdez and Hamilton...and, like, it was just Story-Bogaerts a second ago, it's gonna be evident. The next option at 1st is Bobby Dalbec, and he truly is not the answer. So the Sox have brought in Garrett Cooper, someone who was at the very least performing in Chicago before he was ruled ineffective after a few call-ups. Cooper isn't the greatest defensive 1st baseman, but he can still hit and he's somewhat versatile. It's looking like the infield has turned into 'Rafael Devers and, uh, close your eyes', but Cooper can prevent against that. 

As for the rotation, the Sox are trying to figure out what to do with the missing rotation spots. Their first option was pulling a Tampa and taking a reliever, ironically a former Tampa reliever, and just moving him up to the rotation to see what happens. Cooper Criswell's been decent in a few starts, but so far he seems like a pure innings-eater. Josh Winckowski is also starting games, and seems to be a better pick for it, though for now they're only giving him 3 or 4 innings there. The next step seems to be Naoyuki Uwasawa, who was performing well enough in Worcester and now seems to be the 5 man.

The relieving part is that the solid two up front has continued to be very solid. Kutter Crawford's had an excellent start, with a 1.35 ERA and 36 Ks in 6 starts. Tanner Houck has been similarly excellent as a starter [FINALLY], with a 1.65 ERA and 32 Ks, in addition to a 3-2 record. Those two are holding up well and are a strong foundation for this rotation, especially as they go for less sturdy options. It would be amazing if they continued to be this reliable so that the Sox don't fall into 3rd string pitching hell like they did in 2020.

It must also be relieving to the Sox that so many young players are taking off. Wilyer Abreu has made himself a fixture in the outfield, he's hitting .309 with 11 RBIs in 22 games. Jarren Duran's finally looking like an everyday star, he already has 8 stolen bases. I was worried Tyler O'Neill would be another Adam Duvall-type magic hat guy for the Sox, but he and his 9 homers are back and healthy. And you've also got fun little bit players like Justin Slaten and Brennan Bernadino having strong campaigns.

The Sox are not a bad team, they're just running into a ton of bad luck. If these pitching options hold up they could be alright, but they're in danger of the Rays lapping them and putting them back in last, which is not an option for this team after everything.

Coming Tomorrow- A power hitting outfielder for a team that had a 7-0 lead going earlier today, and I'm just gonna assume that everything went well and the Nats didn't come back-what's THIS???

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