We are 23 games into the baseball season and I’m feeling cautiously optimistic about the Red Sox.  As of this writing the team is on pace to win 126 games.  Failure is so ingrained in the sport so we can’t realistically expect them to keep this pace up. 

Over the years I’ve noticed I tend to be either wildly optimistic or fatalistic about the Sox.  This year I want to try a new middle ground.  My definition of “new middle ground” is guarded but still optimistic.  The best team in MLB history was the 2001 Seattle Mariners with a record of 116-46.  Their winning percentage was 71.2%.  It’s highly unlikely the Sox will keep this up.  A market correction is coming soon.  New York will bash their way to the playoffs.  I still think they go 99-63 and lose to the Yankees in the ALCS.  You want to look on the bright side, so all I can think is so far so good! SO GOOD!

Chris Sale has picked up where he left off last year.  It’s like we are watching a poor man’s Randy Johnson every time he toes the rubber.  He’s a tall, lanky lefty who is all business on the mound.  His heat comes at you 95 with a biting slider.  Lefties must feel like can touch them when he fires a pitch. 

David Price has been good so far.  We know he lacks the clutch gene so I want to keep expectations demanding but also realistic.  All I want is for his elbow to hold up so he can opt out of his contract.  Dave Dombrowski probably shouldn’t have signed him because he’s all wrong for Boston.  No shame in that.  Once the season is over I’ll drive Price to Logan and give Sale $30 million a year.

Porcello looks spectacular so far.  He’s slide into role of 3rd starter nicely.  2016 and 2017 look like fluke seasons.  What’s the best we can hope for? I’d say 30 starts, 205 innings pitched, 15 wins and sub 3.50 ERA. Brian Johnson has fit the “awesome no. 5 starter junkball lefty” role to a T.  Velasquez looks a nice gem.  He can be a depth starter or awesome long reliever out of the pen.

Let’s not forget Pomeranz is working his way back.  Steven Wright will be back from suspension soon.  It’s nice to have a floating knuckleballer after going up against power lefties like Sale, E-Rod and Price.  Odds are E-Rod won’t make 30 starts this year so we need Wright to eat innings.  Hitters will have a tough time going up against him

The pen looks good enough and Kimbrel is money in the bank.

Offensively things are looking up.  Benintendi looks OK right now.  He’s not hitting great but he’s drawing a ton of walks and stealing bases.  Jackie Bradley will go on one of his patented hot streaks soon.  Betts looks like a cross between Andrew McCutcheon and Joe Carter.  He’s drawing walks and could break the single season record for homers by a leadoff hitter.

Xander was tearing the cover off the ball before he got hurt.  Lin will carry the water for him until he gets back.  Once Bogaerts is back Lin will make a nice utility infielder.  Devers looks OK so far.  Hanley is determined to have a great year to get his 2019 option.  At the plate he looks slimmer.  Tommy Bundchen’s pliability exercises have worked wonders for Hanley. 

If I wanted to nitpick about the team I could, but I’m not in the mood.

 

-Erik