Unlike the AL West where the Oakland Athletics hold a decisive lead over the rest of the division, the AL East is a tight race. First and last place are separated by just eight and a half games providing hope for every team in the league. No team in the division has a guaranteed spot in the playoffs just yet, but none of the teams are eliminated either. Although many started to give up hope on the 2014 Boston Red Sox season, the season is far from over. This Boston Red Sox team could very well make the playoffs once again, and possibly be repeat offenders as World Series champs. As of late, everything is looking good for the Boston Red Sox, and things can only get better. By making just a few moves, the club could go from worst to first over these next couple months.
First of all, and most importantly, Boston cannot go overboard at the trade deadline. Sure trading Jake Peavy is a good idea and so is trading Stephen Drew, but parting with top-quality relievers like Koji Uehara and Andrew Miller would be straight asinine. Nothing they could get in return would warrant trading these men while they still have a chance at competing, as both men are highly-coveted around the league.
The one thing Boston should seek at the deadline is a pinch-runner. Stealing bases seems to be a weak point on this Boston Red Sox team. It would be smart of them to think about such a small addition at a low cost to potentially make-or-break the season in the future. Doing what they did last year and targeting a guy like Quintin Berry is a great idea. For this role, player “X” would not even need a good bat, and realistically could be in any level of the Minors, as long as he can swipe bags at a high clip.
After cutting ties with Drew and Peavy, Boston would get a pair of spots opened on the active roster. With these spots, Boston could call up both Brandon Workman and Will Middlebrooks from AAA Pawtucket to bolster third base and the rotation. As Middlebrooks would be the everyday third baseman, Boston could move Xander Bogaerts back to shortstop, a position which he thrives at.
Despite all of the infield positions being taken, the club will need to figure out a way to get Brock Holt and his scorching hot bat into the lineup on a regular basis. He crushes both lefties and righties, so he can assist the Red Sox in getting the platoon advantage at all times.
September can be a tough time to win games for some ball clubs and Boston will need a strong September in order to compete in October. Since the rosters expand in September with September call-ups, Boston needs to take advantage of every spot they have available. At the plate, even though Mookie Betts and Alex Hassan are both down in the Minor Leagues right now, both of them could help the team win. Betts is an all-around talented player and the Boston Red Sox top prospect whereas Alex Hassan is really heating up at the plate as of late and can crush left-handed pitching.
On the mound, there are plenty of men who could help Boston. Anthony Ranaudo, Allen Webster, and Steven Wright could eat up a large number of innings for the club in September plus Tommy Layne could grind out some tough at-bats against dominant left-handed hitters. By giving all these men roles on the team, the club as a whole shall prosper.
Overall, the Boston Red Sox are in a great position to make a run at the post season. There are a few small things they can do to help narrow the gap, but there is still a lot of baseball left to be played. They are down, but now out, and there is still hope for this 2014 Boston Red Sox team.