Red Sox Struggles Extend Beyond Rotation
The Boston Red Sox have struggled to stay above .500 all year and the starting rotation has been a big reason. The rotation struggles have been so documented that the inconsistency of the offense has been vastly overlooked. The batting average against left-handed pitchers has been especially poor and is the worst in the majors.
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In the offseason, the Red Sox signed two of the best hitters on the market, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval. Both have had fairly good seasons so far and have been a big reason the team is still competitive right now. Ramirez was brought in to provide a power bat from the right side of the plate. This move was meant to help take that burden off of Mike Napoli and in that regard he has been a success with a team high of 10 home runs, although none since the start of May. Sandoval’s impact has been felt from the left side of the plate, rather than the right side where the production has been nonexistent. One of the major advantages of signing Sandoval was that he is a switch hitter, but to this point he has not given the team anything from the right side of the plate.
Most of the team’s lineup has been average or below average, including Mike Napoli and Allen Craig who are both hitting below .200. Craig’s struggles forced him to be demoted to AAA where he could try to get on track. Fixing the lineup is not something that needs to be addressed through trade or through the farm system. For the most part, the lineup is filled with veterans who have proven track records in the league and just need more time to produce. Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts are the only young everyday players who have started since opening day. Their production has not been terrible it just is not what it needs to be, but since they are young there is no reason to worry as they should start to produce better numbers soon.
The Red Sox are struggling in a lot of ways, from pitching to hitting, but it is still too early in the season to panic. The lineup is too good to be this inconsistent and hopefully soon they will show how they are capable of playing.
“Colby Gatz covers the Red Sox and Patriots for MFST, you can follow him on twitter at @bostonfan_15.”