So far, through nine games this year, we’ve learned that the Red Sox can score runs. Lots of runs. We’ve also learned that they will give up runs. Sometimes, lots of runs.
Through the first nine games in 2015, the Sox have scored 50 runs, compared to 37 runs scored in the first nine games last year. Having a 6-3 record now is also much nicer than the 4-5 start they got off to a year ago.
A major difference this year in the offense is the addition of Hanley Ramirez. He leads the club with 4 home runs and nine RBI. He is also tops with a slugging percentage of .611. These numbers project to Hanley hitting around 20 HR and driving in close to 80. Only one player last year has higher totals than those: David Ortiz with 35 HR and 104 RBI.
Big Papi is off to good start through his first seven games, with 2 HR and 3 RBI. His season stats project out to 31 HR, 93 RBI with a .283 batting average. With Ramirez batting behind Ortiz, he’s bound to see better pitches.
Dustin Pedroia got off to a very hot start, already hitting nearly half as many home runs (3) in nine games as he had last year (7) in 135 games. This projects out to 11 HR, 67 RBI, and a .283 average, all surpassing last year’s numbers (7/53/.278.)
Two other infielders are off to hot starts, with Pablo Sandoval hitting .306 and Xander Bogaerts hitting at a .382 clip. Also doing it all is center fielder Mookie Betts, who has had success at every level of pro baseball and might not be hitting for a heavy average at only .225, but has 2 HR, 8 RBI, and leads the team in stolen bases with three. He also leads the team in exciting defense, as was depicted on Opening Day in Fenway Park when he took away a sure two-run dinger from Bryce Harper in the first inning.
So what does all of this mean? That the Red Sox offense is off to a good start, averaging 6.22 runs per game, scoring six or more runs in the first nine games of the season, which leads the majors. That they’ve won three straight series to open the season for the first time since 1952. It’s the pitching, though, that is cause for concern.
Collectively, the staff has an ERA pf 4.75, which is 27th out of 30 MLB teams. Individually, three pitchers have ERAs higher than 7.50. (Justin Masterson: 7.59, Clay Buchholz: 7.84, and Wade Miley: 10.57.) Joe Kelly and Rick Porcello have book looked strong early on.
So if the team can hit, but pitching is a problem, how do you solve it? Trade some hitters, of which there are plenty, with more being groomed in the minors.
Brock Holt leads the team in batting right now with a .533 average, but they can’t find a regular spot in the line-up for him. Daniel Nava is hitting over .300, and he isn’t a regular. Shane Victorino plays regularly, but is only hitting .130, while Allen Craig is only hitting 083.
With Holt tearing it up, and Jackie Bradley Jr., Rusney Castillo waiting, and Yaon Moncada not far behind, it might be time to trade some bats and get into the arms race.