Boston Red Sox: Listless on Lansdowne


This time last year, the Boston Red Sox were in the midst of a hotly contested American League Wild Card chase. Their season ultimately included a triumphant win over the New York Yankees in a one game playoff and an eventual trip to the ALCS. The 2021 Sox were only two wins away from a World Series berth. The 2022 version currently resides in the AL East’s basement and has been nowhere near the same scrappy unit that gave Lansdowne Street life just one season prior.

On paper, the Red Sox were in line to compete for a title. Even with moving parts and an improved division, Boston still figured to have enough talent to be a threat. Injuries to their holistic pitching staff and an overall lack of depth plagued the Sox in reality.
At the time of this article, Boston has a below league average team ERA of 4.46. In fact, they’re only better than six other clubs on this front. In today’s “go big or go home” style of baseball, one would assume that the Sox have been beaten by the home run ball. This is not true. The numbers illustrate that Boston pitchers have actually been able to avoid this trap.

Unfortunately for Boston fans, the staff holds the fourth worst barrel percentage this season. While opposing hitters may not be bashing the ball over the fence, they are making solid contact that’s resulting in base hits. The Red Sox have surrendered the fifth most hits this campaign and have suffered as a result. Injuries to Josh Taylor, Chris Sale, James Paxton and others hurt the team’s ability to keep other squads at bay over the course of the season. These injuries speak to a larger problem that has affected the results on the mound and at the plate as well: depth.

Boston did not have enough manpower to “weather the storm.” Losing key arms from 2021 such as Eduardo Rodriguez, Garrett Richards, Martin Perez and Adam Ottavino placed added stress on younger players and new additions such as Garrett Whitlock and Matt Strahm. Injuries made the lack of depth noticeable. This phenomenon was not solely connected to Boston’s woes on the bump. Losing Hunter Renfroe and Kyle Schwarber in the offseason meant that Bobby Dalbec, J.D. Martinez and others would have to pull more offensive weight. Injuries to Kike Hernandez and the newly acquired Trevor Stroy forced tenured Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers to “bite off more than they could chew.”

Injuries and a lack of depth have launched the Red Sox into the terrifying realm of the irrelevant, and New Englanders can only hope that 2023 will be a massive improvement on all fronts.