Throughout Spring Training in Fort Myers, Fla., the Boston Red Sox talked about moving on from their 2013 World Series Championship and focusing on the 2014 season. After being under .500 after the first week of the season, it may be time for the Red Sox to hit the reset button.
The Red Sox were outscored 17-8 in their three game series against the Milwaukee Brewers last weekend. Boston’s offense was inactive in two of the three games and never seemed to get on track throughout the series.
The same could be said during their series against the Texas Rangers, as the offense struggled to score when runners were in scoring position. In their 10-7 loss to the Rangers in game two of the series, the Red Sox left a total of 19 runners on base.
The shuffling of the Red Sox lineup may be the reason they’ve struggled to generate runs so far. The team has used six different batting orders in their first eight games.
It’s too early to know if the Red Sox will miss Jacoby Ellsbury, who departed to the New York Yankees last offseason, but his absence has affected the team early on. Daniel Nava, who’s primarily been used in the lead-off spot early this season, has struggled so far. Going into game three of the Ranger series, Nava is hitting .138 and has an on-base percentage of .219.
Ellsbury was not only a good hitter, but he got on base and was able to turn a single into a triple with his ability to steal bases. With Nava struggling to get on base, the lead-off spot just simply hasn’t had enough runners on base.
During the Red Sox first week of the 2013 season the team stole eight bases and were caught only once. Through eight games the 2014 season, they have attempted to steal a base just three times and were successful only once.
The offense hasn’t been the only problem for the Red Sox during the first week of the season; sloppy defense has also been an issue. The team has committed seven errors (five in the Milwaukee series) in their first eight games. To put this in prospective, in Red Sox Manager John Farrell’s first season, the team didn’t make an error in its first seven games of the 2013 season.
It isn’t time to panic in Boston, but the Red Sox need to find an identity until Shane Victornio and Will Middlebrooks come back from the DL. With the Sox playing a four-game series in the Bronx against the Yankees this upcoming weekend, they can’t afford to keep having these offensive and defensive issues.