The 2022 Boston Red Sox have not gotten off to the kindest start. The exact opposite actually. This year’s team was supposed to take the next step as a contender, and instead look more the part of a pretender. After another disappointing series defeat, Boston is now 9-14 on the year. They currently sit in 4th place in the AL East, 7.5 games out of first place.
To be fair, it’s still VERY early. I’m not advising anyone to jump ship or push the panic button just yet. 23 games into a 162 game season, just about anything can happen.
That doesn’t mean we can’t acknowledge the fact that this Red Sox team just simply doesn’t look good right now. It’s not just one facet of the team either. All around, this team just looks bad. It’s definitely not the start anyone in Sox Nation envisioned.
The most surprising thing has been how cold the bats are to start the year. The pitching was always going to be a concern, that was well noted. Few I believe saw this coming though. Boston’s offense has been anemic for the most part. Lifeless at times. A team that had one of the best offenses in baseball last year, this year has one of the worst.
Again, I want to strongly reiterate. It is still very early in the season. Plenty of time for the bats to wake up. The team is also just five games below .500, which is not the worst thing considering how bad the team has played. Feels like they should be 5-18 and in last place if I’m being honest.
As it currently stands, Boston is ranked 23rd in the league in runs scored. Only one run separates the Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates right now. Let that sink in for a second. The Pirates. Easily projected as one of the worst teams in baseball. Only one run difference.
The team also had a cumulative batting average of .229, which ranks 20th in the league. They rank 25th in home runs too, hitting just 13 so far this season. Worst of all, this team just struggles to get on base. Boston is 26th in the majors with .279 OBP. That last stat is the most alarming to me.
If you can’t get on base, it’s going to be rather difficult to produce runs. If you can’t produce runs….well, you get the picture. Boston just simply isn’t getting enough out of its lineup.
Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers are playing like their All-Star selves. They are carrying most of the load for this offense. J.D. Martinez when he plays has been solid, hitting .305 on the year. However, he’s only played in 16 games, with only 59 plate appearances. He’s also only hit just two homers this year, a problem when he’s supposed to be our top slugger.
Once you get past those three, production really drops down. Bogaerts, Martinez, and Devers are all hitting .299 or better. The next best hitting in the lineup is Alex Verdugo, who’s batting .238. The rest of this lineup is just not carrying its part of the bargain.
Four hitters on this team who have had at least 40 plate appearances are hitting under .200. Kike Hernandez has been wildly disappointing this season. Bobby Dalbec and Jackie Bradley Jr. have been downright awful at the plate this season. It’s just literally been a nightmare for this team at the plate so far this season.
The worst part is, or maybe the bright side depending on how you look at it, is that the pitching hasn’t been terrible. Had this offense been producing, Boston would be looking pretty damn good up to this point. Boston isn’t scorching the Earth, but they rank in the middle of the league in most pitching statistics. Concerns are clearly still there, but they haven’t been as bad as advertised.
If the bats wake up, Boston can get back on schedule. There are legitimate questions arising though if the bats can wake up. Losing players like Hunter Renfroe and Kyle Schwarber hurt even worse in hindsight. Newcomer Trevor Story really hasn’t looked great. Dalbec hasn’t progressed thus far as people had hoped. There’s still hope things improve, but there is definitely a concern when it comes to this team. They’ve been really bad, to the point that it’s been hard to watch at times this year.
Featured Photo by AP Photo/Paul Sancya
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