Boston Red Sox Season Preview

Story posted April 1, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by James Morrison

After another abysmal season that saw the Red Sox struggle, they made big changes in the offseason to help right the ship.

The Red Sox saw two fan favorites leave the club this offseason as Dustin Pedroia retired and Andrew Benintendi was traded to the Royals. They did bring back an old fan favorite, however as manager Alex Cora walked back down Brookline Avenue to manage in Boston again.

Behind the plate nothing really changed as the always reliable and outstanding defensive catcher Christian Vazquez will be starting with last year's pleasant surprise in Kevin Plawecki backing him up.

The infield will look very different from last year’s opening day lineup on the right side. Bobby Dalbec will take over at first base and has the potential to hit 40 to 50 home runs and win AL Rookie of the Year.

In the middle of the infield, Kike Hernandez looks to have the second base spot down and he can also play center field when needed. The Red Sox have Marwin Gonzalez or Christian Arroyo to fill in for him at second. The left side is no surprise, as Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers are stars and have that side locked down.

In an outfield that has seen a complete turnover of talent over the past two years, there will be a combination of Alex Verdugo, Franchy Cordero, Hunter Renfroe and the previously mentioned Gonzalez and Hernandez. Verdugo and Renfroe look to be regular starters and the rest can change depending on the opponent. J.D. Martinez can also play the outfield, but he is much better suited as a designated hitter.

Now for the pitching, which struggled so badly last year that the Red Sox were starting Ryan Weber as their number three starter.

Nathan “Nasty Nate” Eovaldi will be the opening day starter and he is a very good one if his control is on point. Garrett Richards got off to a rough start in the spring, but the free agent signing from the Padres has gotten better as the spring has gone on. Martin Perez will be back serving as the number three starter, so mark that down as a “Perez Day."

The Red Sox also have the best fifth starter in the league in Eduardo Rodriguez. The mid-season acquisition of Nick Pivetta gives them their number four starter this year.

This staff will also receive reinforcements this season as Tanner Houck is in Worcester right now and can start at the major league level and Chris Sale can come back from injury at some point this season.

In the bullpen, the last three innings will likely belong to Matt Barnes, Adam Ottavino and Hirokazu Sawamura. The left handed pitchers will be the exciting Darwinzon Hernandez and the always reliable Josh Taylor. The long relievers or mid relievers will be Phillips Valdez, Matt Andriese, Austin Brice and Rule 5 pick Garrett Whitlock.

This Red Sox team can either be very good, bad or just average.

Prediction: 82-80, miss playoffs and finish third in AL East

There will be massive improvements over last season as the youth movement comes into play this season. Fans will be allowed into the ballpark this summer and can look forward to hearing “Dirty Water” playing after every home win this season as things return to normal.

 

James Morrison is a freshman majoring in communications. To contact him, email pjmorrison921@gmail.com.