The Red Sox managed to go 20-6 in the month of June and still went into the All-Star break just three games over .500. In other words, the majority of the 2022 season has been tough to watch up to the halfway point. The idea of “catching the Yankees” went out the window a long time ago and we’ve turned our attention to an all-out race to the finish with Toronto, Tampa, and Baltimore.
We could blame the players, but the fact of the matter is that the players who are expected to produce are producing for the most part. The rest of the team is doing everything they can, which evidently isn’t much. Here are some of the weaknesses that have surfaced as a result of Chaim Bloom’s lackluster roster building:
The bullpen is an issue. If you find yourself constantly turning on NESN in the late innings and asking yourself “who the fuck is this guy pitching?”, you’re not alone. Because really, who are they? Garrett Whitlock and John Schreiber are the only two relievers who could be considered reliable this season. Also, why is Ryan Brasier still around? You rarely see such a mediocre pitcher spend significant time with one organization.
Starting pitching has also been riddled with inconsistencies. Michael Wacha was great before landing on the IL, Chris Sale might never make three consecutive starts again for the rest of his career, and Nathan Eovaldi is always an injury waiting to happen. Those are our three “aces”.
The situation at first base is inexcusable. Kyle Schwarber has 29 home runs for the Phillies, good for second most in the Majors behind Aaron Judge.
Here’s how the Red Sox’ two primary options at first base have fared in 2022:
Franchy Cordero: .225 AVG, 4 HR, 24 RBI
Bobby Dalbec: .205, 7 HR, 22 RBI
In general, the Sox have too many duds on their roster. Too many guys that are borderline minor leaguers. For every Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts, there are names like Cordero, Dalbec, and Jaren Duran who just don’t appear ready for the big stage. Jackie Bradley Jr. has always been able to get away with his poor offensive output by being one of the best defensive outfielders the game has ever seen, but these guys are getting away with it because the Sox simply don’t have anyone to replace them. The farm system is strong, Jeter Downs seems like a promising talent, but this Big League team as its currently constituted is nowhere near the talent level of the Yankees, who ran away with the division back in May.
Does this mean I’m completely out on the Sox winning a title this year? As long as they’re still in playoff contention then I can’t say that. They’re currently neck and neck with every team in the AL East besides New York. If they can fight their way into the postseason then anything can happen in October. What I’m saying is that it’s highly unlikely considering this team’s glaring deficiencies, and it’ll most likely come down to Bloom making a key move at the deadline.
As far as Bloom’s impact on the current state of the team, it’s hard not to blame him for his unwillingness to spend money on the right players. The recent offer to Devers (reportedly in the neighborhood of 8 years, $168 million) was about $100 million less than the All-Star third baseman was asking for, and what he rightfully deserves. But they did throw a big bag at Trevor Story last offseason, who’s currently hitting .221 and on the 10-day IL. There’s been a graphic circulating the internet lately that shows the Fenway is the most expensive ballpark in the Majors to attend a game. No surprises there. What is surprising is that a team that generates so much revenue continues to lowball the faces of their franchise when offering contract extensions. Make it make sense.