Red Sox Postseason Thoughts: Where Do The Sox Go From Here?
Even though many people expected the Red Sox to be eliminated in the ALDS for a second year in a row, it is still hard to process, considering this team came into this year as co-favorites to win the World Series.
So, let’s get into it, what went wrong for this team? Well, we can start with the manager, John Farrell, who was fired earlier today. Although the Red Sox have had the second best AL record since Farrell joined as manager back in 2013, it’s hard to give him much credit with some of the most questionable in-game decisions we’ve seen from him in this year’s ALDS. It’s clear that the win/loss record of this team over the years has been a result of the lineup and moving parts in the rotation and bullpen. During the ALDS, Farrell started the series with Nunez at DH, not Hanley Ramirez. If Nunez never got hurt, we wouldn’t have seen much of Hanley during this series, and he was the player who did the most damage to Houston’s pitching.
When criticized for his questionable in game moves in 2017, Farrell claimed he “knew how to control the clubhouse.” In some cases, that would be a valid argument, as in-game managing isn’t everything. But lets refer to what happened earlier in the year between Price and Eckersley. Would that situation have happened if Farrell had control of the team? My guess is probably not, and it doesn’t help that all of the players were clapping along with Price, showing that Farrell had no ability to keep the team under control. The first move of the this offseason should definitely be finding a new manager for this team.
The next move for the team is to either hit the weight room, or acquire better power hitters.
The Red Sox finished in the bottom four in home runs this past year, with an embarrassing 168. We’ve brought players over like Hanley Ramirez for power hitting, but haven’t gotten any consistent power since David Ortiz left the team. Guys like Benintendi, Devers, and Betts show some promise in power hitting as they are young and still in development, but that’s not enough.
Moving on from power hitting, it’s clear that this team has absolutely no leadership. Just as much as people want to blame Farrell for something like this, the real person to blame is Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia previously talked about how he was the leader of this team, but some of his actions have put his statement into question. Earlier in the year, Machado and Pedroia had a conflict after a questionable slide by Machado. As retaliation, the Red Sox threw at Machado. When questioned by Machado, Pedroia simply said “It wasn’t me, it was my team.” Nice Dustin, way to stick up for your guys when they stuck up for you, you’re a true leader. Along with this, I’ll bring up the Price/Eckersley situation again. Pedroia was one of the players clapping on the plane and supporting David Price. Now, this isn’t as bad as the Machado situation because you can argue that he was sticking up for Price and his teammates, but at the same time, he was encouraging the behavior of Price. It’s clear that Price’s actions were uncalled for, considering the hate he got from the fans.
Lastly, let’s talk pitching. We saw a fantastic year from the bullpen, which was very much needed, especially closer to the end of the year when Chris Sale was starting to struggle more than usual. The bullpen will only look to improve next year with the return of Carson Smith.
The starting pitching was a different story. Everybody thought that starting pitching was perhaps the greatest strength this team had coming into the season, but we soon learned that this wasn’t even close to the case. There’s no need to bring up numbers, because everybody already knows that David Price and Rick Porcello had a disappointing season in terms of starting pitching. Although, David Price out of the bullpen was spectacular.
Anyways, Chris Sale was rock solid for a good amount of the year, building a AL Cy Young case for himself. Unfortunately we saw him drop off and give that race to Kluber, who will probably end up taking the award. Even with guys like Fister and Pomeranz stepping up, Porcello showed this year that these performances could very well be a fluke. It would be great to see the Red Sox grab another starting pitcher, but keep in mind that it’s really dependent on how Price does next year. It will be interesting to see if the Sox go out and get another starter because it’s not the number one issue, but it’s still an issue nevertheless.
Where will the Sox go from here? Who knows, but it should definitely start with a new manager. We can only hope for a better postseason next year, as fans have now been disappointed two years in a row.