A seemingly perfect season that ended with a World Series has led to a major disappointment in 2019, so what really happened to the Red Sox?
There are numerous reasons that the Red Sox have been nowhere near their 2018 form, so I'll just look at a few.
1. Well, you're looking at five reasons in the picture above. J.D. Martinez, Mitch Moreland, Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel, and Mookie Betts.
a) In my opinion, Martinez should have been last years MVP. He had the most RBI, and was second in the league in both batting average and home runs. Most importantly, when Mookie Betts (last years MVP) went silent in the playoffs, the Red Sox still won it all. Now J.D. has still been good this year, but the expectations are extremely high. He's batting about thirty points behind his average from last year, and is on pace for thirty less RBI than last year, although that is not completely his fault...
b) Steve Pearce's $6.5 million dollar contract is looking pretty hefty right about now. He has played only 29 games, has batted .190, and has all of one home run. Yay! Loved his performance in the World Series and all, but the guy has played over a hundred games once in his career. He's had 20 home runs once, and never had 50 RBI. The World Series MVP and the fact that he has played for each AL East team are the only notable parts of his career. Besides being slightly hot near the start of the year, Mitch Moreland has been pretty invisible as well.
c) It seems inevitable that Chris Sale breaks out of this slump, but I don't even know if you can call this a slump anymore, because its been going on for so long. This is the first year in eight seasons that he is not an all star, and his ERA is seventy points higher than it has ever been. His record is 3-8! Hopefully not, but maybe all of the innings he's pitched in his career are finally catching up to him.
d) It's really not just the loss of Craig Kimbrel, but the loss of any stability in the bullpen. People continually argue that they are not as bad as we think with statistics, but its more about blown games, and dependability. A strong bullpen like the Yankees, Astros, or Brewers makes their team and fans feel like if they have the lead in the 6th inning, they will win. A bad bullpen, like the Red Sox, makes fans ask how big the lead is, and if it is not around five, worry. Fact is, Dave Dombrowski should have brought back at least Kimbrel and probably Joe Kelley as well. This whole rotation through the closer and set up man idea is not working.
e)This does not have to be a complicated part: Why is Mookie Betts batting .270? That is over seventy points below last season.
So, what should the Red Sox do? They have a great offense, especially with the emergence of Rafael Devers, so keep that the same. They need a starter and they need a closer. They should not be afraid to trade a guy like Rick Porcello to a contender to get back a younger pitching prospect.