In the outfield I think Andrew Benintendi will get the left field job with the expectation he has time
to grow. He did
well last year but he is young and bumps in the road are to be expected. Jackie Bradley finally had the year expected
of the highly touted center fielder. In
right will be Mookie Betts who had 200 hits and scored 100 runs which was
matched by Dustin Pedroia. His career
continues to skew upwards. Bottom line
is the lineup lost a huge piece with David Ortiz retiring. Boston must also hope most players can
continue to play as well as they did last year in his absence. Many young players had break out years or
others had rebound seasons. Can they
continue that trend? Doubtful they all
will but there is so much talent here that the lineup should be fine in the
The pitching staff also has plenty of talent though David Price’s injury is concerning. Though he may be slotted as low as third in the starting rotation he is still a guy you counted on for 200 innings of quality work. Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, Steven Wright and Eduardo Rodriguez will anchor the rotation until Price’s return. Sale of course was the big catch in the offseason and automatically gives you an ace to throw out there every five days. Porcello is the AL Cy Young winner while Wright put up a 13 win, 3.33 ERA season last year. They should both be dependable at the top of the rotation. Rodriguez must have a better year (4.71 ERA) as he’ll get work as the #4 guy when the season starts. The fifth position is still up in the air with Drew Pomeranz and Kyle Kendrick in the mix. Very solid group but it is a long season and the back end could prove to be the weak link if pitchers don’t step up. Bullpen was tweaked some with Tyler Thornburg brought in to be the setup guy for Craig Kimbrel who must fix the walk issue he struggled with last year.
Why wouldn’t the Red Sox have a 90 win season and again take the A.L. East? They can only beat themselves. I’m not discounting the Blue Jays, the Orioles or that New York could be much better but this team has a ton of talent. Much of it is young. So will it get better or digress? Probably a mix. Again way too much talent for them to fail. I expect 90 more wins and hopefully they can make a deep run in the playoffs.