What’s Up With the Champs?


Chris Sale and the Red Sox are the reigning World Series champions, but they have seen their share of troubles early in 2019. (Courtesy of Flickr)

By Anthony Cardone

It seems as if the defending world champion Boston Red Sox are still recovering from the celebrations last season. A stunning 108 wins last year is already looking out of reach just two weeks into the season.

The Red Sox are currently in fourth place in the AL East and have a record of 11-17. Their pitching and hitting have not been the same after having the MVP and multiple MVP candidates on the team last year.

So what is the problem? To start, no one is injured on the team besides Dustin Pedroia who played three games last year, so that’s not the excuse. They did not lose anyone to free agency besides Kimbrel, who is still out there.

It’s the pitching. Chris Sale is 0-5 with an ERA above six. The Red Sox just signed him to a five year, $145 million deal. The pitching ERA as a team is 25th in the majors at 5.18 and their batting average is 22nd at .235. They have only hit 30 home runs and 120 runs this year after last season they led in both with the Astros.

Mookie Betts, last year’s MVP, who hit .346 with 32 HR, 80 RBI and 30 stolen bases, is hitting .260 with just four HR this year. No one has really hit in the clutch this season and their bullpen has been a mess without Kimbrel. Ryan Brasier and Matt Barnes have been the committee of closers so far and it has not been pretty.

The Red Sox were so good last season; in fact it was probably the greatest Red Sox team of all time. But so far this season it could be the complete opposite. Especially in a division filled with powerhouses.

The Yankees, even with their injuries, have been very good surprisingly but when everyone comes back, they will be a dangerous threat. It seems like no one is making contact with any baseballs against the Rays down in Florida with a team ERA that was under 2.00 for the first two weeks of the season, who also are in first place, which the Red Sox trail by 7.5 games and its not even May.

So what could be the spark or the bright spots of this season to help get the Sox back to where they need to be. One is rookie Michael Chavis, one of the Red Sox top prospects who absolutely raked in spring training and has already hit two home runs in his first week in baseball.

Another is to go out and get Kimbrel back. Sign him to a one-year deal to help the back of the bullpen and then he’ll test free agency again next year since no one went after him this year. If the Red Sox make the playoffs this year, they will stand no chance against other bullpens like the Yankees, Rays and Astros this year.

Come on champs, baseball season already started.