BOSTON (CBS) – It’s early in the season but the Red Sox’s struggles should not go unnoticed. As they sit at the bottom of the AL East at 5-9, the Red Sox’s issues are piling up.
You can point to a number of different areas of concern, but lack of stability has to be at the forefront. Heading into last night’s game, manager John Farrell had used the same batting order only twice in 13 games, something Scott Zolak touched on to kick off the discussion.
“The lineup is a surprise everyday,” says Zo. “Is this the same team as last year? You’re waiting for them to press the play button.”
Besides a handful of pitchers, Zo does not see any stability on this Red Sox team.
“Other than Jon Lester, we can’t really include him. He’s a given, he’s the ace. I like what I’ve seen from Lackey. Peavy is kind of that grinder — I’m starting to appreciate him. The guy is finding a way to strike at least eight guys out every time he takes the mound.”
With a 3.57 era, the Red Sox pitching staff has more than held their own. Gresh sees the pitchers in the same light as Zo. With Lester, Lackey and Peavy, the Red Sox have three starters that make the pitching staff a strength of this team. The rest of the AL East teams don’t have three pitchers in their starting rotation with the firepower the Red Sox do, which according to Gresh, should have John Farrell and the Red Sox feeling good.
Compared to the pitching staff, the offense has been nothing short of a disaster. They rank 24th out of 30 teams in runs scored and, at times, it seems like they can’t buy a hit.
In terms of inconsistent play, perhaps no area on this Red Sox team better fits that description than the left side of the infield. With Will Middlebrooks on the disabled list, journeymen Ryan Roberts and Jonathan Herrera haven’t exactly delivered in his absence.
And while Xander Bogaerts has had some success at the plate, he still doesn’t have an RBI to show for it. He’s been a question mark in the field as well, and his throwing error cost the team a game Wednesday night in Chicago.
Love him or hate him, Stephen Drew provided a stable, “steady Eddy” presence in the shortstop role last year for the Sox, and his defense has been sorely missed as Bogaerts goes through his growing pains adjusting to the big leagues.
Injuries, plus lack of experience, timely hitting, a true leadoff hitter and questionable managerial decisions are all reasons for the team’s early season struggles, and they’re only exacerbated by the lack of stability in the lineup.
Listen for the full discussion: