Here’s how the Red Sox have performed so far in spring training – CBS Boston

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) – This really is something that would have been unfathomable 10 years ago, but it’s true nonetheless: The Red Sox are on the verge of insignificance on the Boston sports scene.

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This is not a scientific assessment or anything, but in relation to how this team was tracked and consumed 24 hours of every day of every year for a long time, it really feels like living in a post-Red Sox reality here in Boston. Bad back-to-back seasons can have this effect, especially when the later of those two is historically bad and involves trading one of the best local players in franchise history.

This can change, however. Because even though the city’s appetite for the baseball team certainly wanes when times get tough, there is still nothing this city loves more than a winner.

Can the Red Sox play a 2013 Lazarus and fight for a World Series in 2021? Uh no. Probably not with this rotation.

But at the very least, the Red Sox have enough pieces in place to be a viable baseball team that competes most nights of the week. It may not be many, no, and that’s not going to propel the Red Sox to the top of the imaginary Boston sports fan rankings. But it’s a step up from a season’s punt last year.

To the right?

To the right.

With an opening day now only a week – ONE WEEK?! – away, here’s an update on how the Red Sox fared in Florida during spring training.

They won more than they lost

Alex Verdugo and Jonathan Arauz (Photo by Mark Brown / Getty Images)

The record of wins and losses in the spring is largely meaningless. But hey, the Red Sox are 13-8! That doesn’t mean they’ll have a 0.619 regular season winning percentage and win 100 baseball games as a result. But it’s probably better than the alternative, right? Yeah.

THEY STRIKE

Michael Chavis (Photo by Cliff Welch / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but the Red Sox can hit baseball. As a team, they have an .836 OPS, which is the MLB’s best score this spring, and the AL’s second-best (just one point behind Kansas City). Their team’s batting average is 0.270, one point lower than the MLB’s best score.

They have scored 130 points in 23 games, which is tied with Kansas City for most in MLB.

They racked up their fair share of dingers with 34, placing them tied for fourth in the MLB and second in the AL behind… the Royals.

Based on preseason predictions and early spring training returns, it doesn’t look like attacking is this team’s problem.

Michael Chavis leads the team with 13 hits, as he pulled off a solid spring at home (.277 / .333 / .702). He’s also clubbed six home runs, which puts him at the top of the team along with Bobby Dalbec.

Dalbec also impressed. He reached 0.308 with an OPS of 1.221 with his six homers, two doubles and six walks.

In terms of key starters, here are:

Alex Bogaerts: .200 / .286 / .440
Michael Chavis: .277 / .333 / .702
Franchy Cordero: .429 / .500 / .429 (in 3 games)
Bobby Dalbec: .308 / .400 / .821
Rafael Devers: .190 / .244 .429
JD Martinez: .268 / .311 / .341
Marwin Gonzalez: .282 / .349 .487
Enrique Hernandez: .324 / .468 / .514
Renfroe Hunter: .273 / .304 / .500
Christian Vazquez: .286 / .355 / .393
Alex Verdugo: .226 / .342 / .258

Jonathan Arauz also had five doubles and an .864 OPS in 20 spring games, and Jaren Duran has a triple and two homers.

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The bats seem ready to go.

PITCHING IS … A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT HISTORY

Eduardo Rodriguez, Christian Vazquez (Photo by Billie Weiss / Boston Red Sox / Getty Images)

But you knew that, right? The Red Sox entered a four-game streak last year with a named starter and three “TBD” spots. They were pulling guys out of nowhere and asking them to pitch Major League Baseball games. It was wild. And it’s almost a shame that you and I didn’t get it, come to think of it. It couldn’t have been worse.

Last year, Boston placed 14th (of 15) in the American League ERA. They were dead last in WHIP and dead last in their opponents’ batting average, both by significant margins.

They only got 246 innings from their starters (second under AL), which was likely due to their collective ERA of 5.34 (third worst in AL). The bullpen was no better, with an ERA of 5.79 (the second worst).

All of this to say that the Red Sox pitching staff were obnoxious last year. Repugnant. Revolting.

It was disgusting

And that sort of thing can’t be cured in one offseason. Especially when the only measures for improvement are the addition of Garrett Richards and the re-signing of Martin Perez. CORN! Eduardo Rodriguez is back after missing the entire past year due to complications from COVID-19.

Spring practice pitching stats aren’t evangelical, as pitchers primarily do their jobs. (Keep that in mind with some of the aforementioned offensive stats as well.) Nonetheless, here’s how the starting rotation went in the spring.

Nathan Eovaldi
1-0, 6.60 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, 13 SO, 3 BB, 15.0 IP

Garret richards
2-1, 5.93 ERA, 1.61 WHIP, 14 SO, 11 BB, 13.2 IP

Eduardo Rodriguez
3-0, 2.63 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 15 SO, 2 BB, 13.2 IP

Nick Pivetta
1-2, 6.23 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 11 SO, 4 BB, 13.0 IP

Martin perez
2-1, 4.09 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 8 SO, 6 BB, 11.0 IP

All together, the Red Sox starters have a 5.35 ERA, which ranks 11th in the AL. It’s probably not very encouraging that the Yankees (2.49) are ranked first in this category, the Blue Jays (2.71) are placed second and the Rays (4.25) are placed sixth.

The Boston relievers did better. They have an ERA of 4.25 and a WHIP of 1.38, both of which rank fifth in the LA.

Adam Ottavino has a go-go ERA of 0.00 in his five appearances (5.1 IP), with six strikeouts and one walk. Matt Andriese also has triple zeros for his five-innings ERA in two appearances.

Matt Barnes at the triple-zero club as well, allowing no earned runs despite 4.1 IPs in four appearances, with eight strikeouts and two walks.

And no one has a better spring than Garrett Whitlock, who has a 1.00 ERA and 0.89 WHIP in his nine innings of work in four appearances. He allowed eight hits while striking out 12 and walking no one.

THEIR MANAGER HAS A PULSE

Alex Cora, Rafael Devers (Photo by Michael Reaves / Getty Images)

Poor Ron Roenicke. Nice guy. A type of baseball in perpetuity. It was set up to fail last year, however. Seemed ugly.

In any event. Alex Cora is back from his one-year suspension from baseball, and he’s got a new kind of energy that’s going to breathe some life into a sleepwalking team for much (all?) Of last season. He can’t pitch and he can’t kick for the team, but the reunion is certainly positive for Boston.

Alex Cora, Xander Bogaerts (Photo by Michael Reaves / Getty Images)

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So, at the very least, there are a few bright spots on the pitching staff that lend some promise to the idea that 2021 should be better than 2020. That may not be enough to make the Red Sox the best. best story in town, but based on Chaim Bloom’s observable approach to management, slow and steady progress could be the theme for the next 36 months. We will see the first phase of this plan in a week from today.

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