As second half begins, can the Crimson Sox be nice once more?
If Boston finds pitching, each inside and out of doors the group, then Sox followers can dream of a repeat.
The Boston Crimson Sox are 49-41 on the All-Star break, 12 video games behind their front-running tempo of final yr.
However the staff’s media division chimed in with optimism, with its every day notes:
Reality: Of the previous 19 World Collection winners, 5 had been 49-41 or worse by means of their first 90 video games.
Translation: There’s hope.
Reality: After beginning the season, 11-17, the Crimson Sox are 38-24 (and 15-7 of their final 22 video games).
Translation: This can be a staff on the transfer.
However Crimson Sox followers can even put collectively their very own, glass-half-empty set of numbers.
Information: The Crimson Sox are tied for first within the American League in blown saves (18), and are the worst in save proportion (50 p.c; 18 saves out of 36 possibilities). Additionally, the relievers rank eighth in ERA (4.44) and the starters ninth (4.70).
Translation: Boston wants extra arms.
As Boston emerges from the All-Star break – enjoying the Dodgers tonight in suddenly-unfriendly Fenway – the Crimson Sox are staff. Can they be nice?
Listed below are some indicators to look at.
RELIEF FOR THE RELIEVERS — It’s not a secret that the bullpen is worn down. Brandon Workman (43 video games), Ryan Brasier (41), Matt Barnes (40) and Marcus Walden (36) all present optimistic glimpses after which … not so good.
Workman has a 1.79 ERA, but in addition 4 blown saves. Brasier (3.58/three blown saves), Barnes (4.62/six) and Walden (3.75/three) additionally battle. Barnes can look lights-out (67 strikeouts) however he tires. His ERA when pitching with no days’ relaxation is 9.00. Walden started sturdy, however has a 7.20 ERA over June and July.
The pen might use reliable depth to lighten the load. Heath Hembree coming off the injured listing ought to assist, however the Crimson Sox are relying on one other rebound from Nathan Eovaldi. The starter who has undergone two Tommy John surgical procedures, is getting back from a less-invasive elbow surgical procedure in April. As an alternative of taking extra time to stretch him out as a starter, Boston plans to make use of Eovaldi in reduction. He has been throwing off the mound, however has but to make any rehab appearances.
Steven Wright is again from his suspension. He could be streaky together with his knuckleball, however possibly he supplies some respite for the pen.
Internally, Boston has attainable – learn, unsure – cures. Mike Shawaryn gave up one earned run in his first six appearances, however 11 in his subsequent two (together with eight in a London outing). He wants one other probability. Travis Lakins (5.79) has but to get on a roll.
Darwinzon Hernandez has been moved to the Pawtucket, hoping to steadiness his spectacular stuff with some management. In Portland, Tanner Houck has additionally been moved to the pen. If he or Durbin Feltman get going, Boston might beckon.
As for the commerce market, reliable (and out there) relievers won’t come low-cost. Shane Greene (Tigers) and Will Smith (Giants) are among the many names that may intrigue Boston. However how a lot is ready/prepared to supply in return.
BOSTON’S ABILITY to commerce has been lessened by Dave Dombrowski’s earlier trades. Boston’s finest prospects are nook infielder/energy hitters Bobby Dalbec and Triston Casas, and beginning pitcher Bryan Mata. Dalbec leads the Double-A Jap League in dwelling runs (19), and Casas (15) is second within the low Class A South Atlantic League, although that is Casas’ first professional season. Mata, 20, simply reached Portland and is Boston’s subsequent finest probability for a homegrown starter out of the farm system.
The Crimson Sox must rating an enormous return to surrender any of these three.
A possible buying and selling chip is Sea Canines shortstop C.J. Chatham, who’s batting .318. With Xander Bogaerts in Boston, the Crimson Sox might make Chatham out there (though they just lately try him out at second base).
Dalbec and Chatham can be eligible for the Main League Rule V draft this December, if Boston doesn’t put them on the 40-man roster.
Yet one more reminder about trades: MLB did away with waiver-wire trades in August. July 31 is the exhausting deadline for any offers.
STARTING PITCHING was presupposed to be a power. David Worth is the one reliable starter. If Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez and Rick Porcello obtained in gear, Boston might take into consideration closing that nine-game hole between the first-place Yankees, as a substitute of pondering solely of the wild card.
A fifth starter may even assist, and that seems to be Dombrowski’s focus for a commerce. Wouldn’t or not it’s good to land a lefty like Madison Bumgarner (a free agent subsequent yr) or Detroit’s Matthew Boyd (3.87 ERA; arbitration eligible subsequent yr with the rebuilding Tigers)?
One other vendor would be the Mets and a few media stories have Boston trying into right-hander Zack Wheeler, who mustn’t value a lot contemplating his free-agent standing subsequent yr, and his 4.69 ERA.
HOME FIELD “benefit” can be good, if the Crimson Sox used it. They’re 20-20 at Fenway. On Friday, the Dodgers come to city. Final yr, when L.A. visited Fenway, the Crimson Sox showcased a staff worthy of a championship.
As for 2019 …