Coming into this season, the Boston Red Sox were not only one of the favorites to win the American League, but were also a favorite to win it all and clinch their 4th title since 2004.
The main reason for the lofty expectations was because of their vaunted pitching staff that consists of three potential aces in Chris Sale, David Price, and former Cy Young winner Rick Porcello. Their two talented young pitchers behind them in Rodriguez and Pomeranz also helped their cause.
So far this season things have not gone according to plan, at least for the starting rotation. Despite their solid 40-32 record, the Sox pitching staff has been mediocre and at some points, downright awful.
Chris Sale started off his Red Sox career brilliantly as he posted a sub two ERA in his first handful of starts. He has continued to be solid besides hitting a little hiccup earlier in the year, however he seems to be headed back in the right direction.
The same can’t be said for Porcello, however. Rick has been brutal all season long, posting a 5.05 ERA to go along with a 3-9 record. Of course a drop off was expected from his brilliant 2016 season, but certainly not to this degree. His inability to pitch out of trouble has definitely been an eye opening problem all season and has caused innings to become troublesome very quickly.
The most disappointing so far has been, without a doubt, David Price. After a steady, but not fantastic first year in Boston, Price had a chance to quiet all the haters. What he has done instead, is the exact opposite. When he is able to get on the field (which has been quite the struggle this season) he has been average at best. Maybe if he avoided getting into Twitter and media scuffles and focused more on his pitching, he could attempt to live up to his absurd contract.
Yes, fans could sit here and whine and moan about the negatives all day, however how can the Red Sox fix this unfortunate weakness?
Many people have suggested a pitching trade, but that might not be the right move. What the Red Sox truly need is a capable third baseman and possibly a reliever, especially one that doesn’t blow out his elbow as soon as he gets off the plane.
There is plenty of talent in the current rotation to lead the Red Sox to another title. The organization, as well as the fans, should know that. The Sox really need their own guys to step up and prove their worth their contracts. Although the bullpen has been fantastic up to this point, the wear and tear of their relievers will eventually set in and that’s when they’ll need their aces to step up.