A quarter of the way through season, and the 2015 Red Sox haven’t looked great, though they have strung together some quality series of late. They certainly have to work through some things. Miraculously, they are still in the playoff hunt in the early-going.
They say you’ll have a good sense of where you are as a team by Memorial Day weekend. Here’s what we have learned about this team so far:
1) The Offensive Approach is too One-Dimensional
Through the first quarter of the season the Sox ranked at the bottom tier of the league in many statistical categories as a team, including batting average, runs and stolen bases. What they don’t lack is home runs, which is one of their issues at its core: they can rely on the long ball too much. This team needs to consider a different approach to manufacture runs. You won’t always get inside fastballs to turn on and belt. You’ll need to learn to hit outside curveballs and change-ups. The reason the 2013 Red Sox were dangerous was because as a team, they were dynamic. They hit to all fields, stole bases, did a lot of hit-and-runs, had timely hits and made opposing pitchers throw a lot of pitchers. They need to get back to that style of play. That’s when they’re at their best, and it’s good to see glimpses of that style of play as of late.
2) Don’t Count On The Starting Pitching To Hold Up
Even if John Farrell referred to his staff as five “aces” in spring training, it was obvious the pitching was more like a staff of #3 starters that were expected to hold give the offense a chance to keep the team in games. Really, they have all been pitching like a number 3 pitcher at best. The quality of pitching is erratic, and they may not be able to give the team a fighting chance as much as we’d prefer to see. Sure, I believe in the rotation to string together some quality starts, but from what have seen so far, you don’t know what kind of outing you’ll get from these guys. The unpredictability makes it incredibly difficult to depend on this rotation to consistently provide solid starts every night. It doesn’t seem that they are capable of it.