Offense? meh. Starting pitching? Trash. Bullpen? Throwing shutouts. Just as all 0 of us expected. Now that this road trip which basically lasted 2+ weeks, but felt like 2 months, is over hopefully the Sox will rebound, getting back to normal now that they’re back home. I’m going to try to do weekly updates but this one is a bit longer since I’m including opening weekend.
Chris Sale found his control in his second start and looked a lot better. I literally don’t care about his velocity; he knows what he’s doing and what the team expects of him. He is working his way up after a very short spring, where his missed his last start because he had his physical for his extension. If he was healthy enough to pass the physical and get that money, he is healthy enough to pitch. When you throw a frisbee slider like his, control is more important than velocity. Price has been meh, he’s had about 2 bad innings, 1 per start that have really skewed it for him but nonetheless he seems primed to fix things. Eduardo Rodriguez needs to learn how to pitch not just throw. He gets way to passive for guy with his strikeout potential. Eovaldi needs to find his control and Rick just needs to be better.
The bullpen has looked great so far. Barnes, Brasier and Workman have all looked great, having good control of their stuff. Barnes and Brasier have big fastballs that play to their advantage, but Workman uses his great curveball to create a perceived velocity spike with his fastball. Averaging about 12-13mph difference between a curveball and fastball can throw off hitters if its controlled but Workman’s control struggles seem to be left in 2018. Brewer, Hembree and Thornburg have had really just one hiccup but have looked good more so than not. Velazquez has also looked good, especially during his 3 innings against Arizona, the first Red Sox starter to have 3 straight shutout innings to open a game.
The offense has been a whole lot of JD Martinez, clutch master Mitch Moreland, and somewhat surprisingly Blake Swihart. We all knew Blake could hit but he’s been hot out of the gate and has looked better behind the plate than the Blake of old. Most guys have gotten off to inconsistent starts like Devers and Benintendi. Hopefully 2 days off in the next 3 days helps them refocus.
There’s really not much to say besides they have struggled but have shown signs of shaking it off, especially recently. I would bet on a reenergized Red Sox club showing up for this homestand, getting their rings and closing the book on 2018 could be good for them to refocus and prove why they should be viewed as a favorite to repeat. The Yankees finally get a challenge with Houston and we get the last place Blue Jays and the Orioles who are only good against the Yankees. Time for the madness to end and for the fun to begin.