Looking Ahead With 2020 Vision

After Mookie Betts slid into home at Fenway Park last Sunday night, the Red Sox season was over in walk off fashion. After losing two games to the Orioles, the Red Sox walked it off on Sunday in what might have been the final game for many of its players. Now, the Red Sox looking ahead to the 2020 season. After this year’s World Series, the Red Sox have a lot of work to do. First, they need to find a replacement for Dave Dombrowski. Then, they need to figure out who’s staying, coming, going, and coming back.

Many fans know how an offseason like this begins and ends. We’ve seen it in the past. Bylooking ahead the time 2020 rolls around, the Red Sox will be ready to go. The question is though, what will the roster look like? Will players like Brock Holt and Mitch Moreland resign with the Red Sox? Will they trade Mookie Betts? And what does the future hold for J.D. Martinez. The Red Sox will be looking ahead to next season, and will try and build for the future at the same time this offseason.

Looking Ahead With 2020 In Sight

After making it to the postseason for the past three seasons, the Red Sox fell short in 2019. Now, they are looking ahead to 2020. The first thing that needs to be done is getting a replacement for Dave Dombrowski. During the loss to the Yankees on September 8th, the Red Sox fired Dombrowski in a move that shocked fans. It was only a matter of time, but the timing was, and still is, questionable.

Many Red Sox players may have played their final games last week. Rick Porcello, Brock Holt and Mitch Moreland are all free agents this offseason. Steve Pearce is a free agent as well, but is contemplating retirement. Another name to look out for is J.D. Martinez. When he signed his five year contract prior to the 2018 season, there were opt-out clauses placed in there. One of those is for this offseason.

Looking ahead, the Red Sox would probably like to keep all those guys mentioned above. They also need to work on rebuilding their farm system as well. Sadly, this may come in the form of a trade. There are many big name free agents that’ll be on the market this offseason as well, such as Gerrit Cole, Madison Bumgarner, and Cole Hamels. Only time will tell how the Red Sox will look in 2020, however, the madness begins once the final out of the World Series is made.

Key Games in 2020

The Red Sox will be opening the 2020 season on the road against the Toronto Blue Jays from March 26th to March 29th. From there, they head to Baltimore to play the Orioles from March 30th to April 1st. The Red Sox’s home opener will be on April 2nd against the Chicago White Sox. So far, this schedule is better than the 2019 one, where they played in Seattle, Oakland, and Arizona to start off the season.

Looking ahead, the Red Sox have seven interleague series this year. They play the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, Saint Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds at home. They also play away games against the Braves, Reds, and the Chicago Cubs. Unlike in previous seasons, they will not be playing the Philadelphia Phillies.

In May, the Red Sox will be playing a three game series at the new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. They will also be playing the Yankees in New York in the second weekend of May. This year’s All Star Game, which will be held at Dodgers Stadium, is scheduled for July 14th. Just like in 2019, the Red Sox will be closing out the season at home against the Orioles.

How To Be Successful in 2020

With the postseason in full swing, one can only wonder if the Red Sox have what it takes to make it in 2020. Looking ahead, they need help in the bullpen, and the rotation, that was obvious this season. They also need to figure out how to stay under the luxury tax, and not overpay players like they have in the past. Examples of this include Pablo Sandoval, Carl Crawford and Hanley Ramirez.

This past week, many organizations are reworking the clubhouse. Teams like the Mets and Angels have let go of their managers. Others, like the Red Sox, have let go of coaches. The Red Sox announced earlier this week that assistant hitting coach, Andy Barkett, will not be back in 2020. Over the course of the next few days, we may see even more changes happening in Boston.

For now, Red Sox Nation is on pause until after the World Series. Then, and only then, will we know what the 2020 Red Sox will look like. It’s going to be a long waiting game until the end of October and a new champion is crowned. However, before we know it, Spring Training will be here.

Final Interleague Showdown at Fenway

The Red Sox will host the San Francisco Giants in the final interleague showdown at Fenway Park. The last time the Red Sox played the Giants was back in 2016, in which the Red Sox won both games at Fenway Park. Now, the Giants are back, and are looking to take the series in Boston.

After taking both games from Philly, the Red Sox look to continue that momentum startingfinal interleague showdown Tuesday night. Game one ended with a 2-1 victory for Boston, while game two had some offensive power with a 6-3 win. With Mookie Betts out of the line up, Christan Vazquez showed some power, hitting a grand slam and a solo home run in the second game.

This Series Will Be One to Remember

For some of the Giants, this will be a series to remember. Lexington, MA native and former Boston College player, Chris Shaw, will probably be in the line up at some point in the series. The left fielder made his MLB debut in August 2018. Another name to remember is Tyler Beede. The starting pitcher isn’t scheduled to start, but the Worcester, MA native will definitely have butterflies as he comes out of the visitors dugout. Like Shaw, Beede made his debut in 2018.

Two former Red Sox prospects are also members of the Giants. Mauricio Dubon and Shaun Anderson will be getting some playing time as well against the Red Sox. Both Dubon and Anderson made their MLB debuts this season.

Many Red Sox fans will remember this reliever. Fernando Abad will be returning to Fenway Park as a member of the Giants. Abad pitched for Boston in 2016 and 2017, going 2-3 in 66 games.

Final Interleague Showdown Matchup

In the final interleague showdown of the 2019 season, the Red Sox will be sending Nathan Eovaldi to face Logan Webb. Last time out for Eovaldi was against Toronto on September 10th. He went 4.1 innings, allowing three runs off of six hits. In twenty games this season, he is 1-0 with a 5.81 ERA through 52.2 innings. Webb will be making his sixth MLB start on Tuesday night. He made his MLB debut on August 17th against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Webb is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in five starts.

Jhoulys Chacin will have the ball in game two against Jeff Samardzija. Last time Chacin pitched against the Giants was back on July 14th when he was with the Brewers. He went five innings, allowing one earned run off of four hits, while strikig out five. He is looking to earn his fourth win of 2019. Samardzjia is looking for his eleventh win of 2019. Last time out for him was on September 12th against the Pirates. He took the loss, going 6.1 innings, allowing four runs off of eight hits.

The afternoon game of the final interleague showdown features two aces. Eduardo Rodriguez will be going up against Madison Bumgarner. Eduardo Rodriguez is lookign for win number eighteen. Last time out resulted in a no decision against the Phillies. He went 6.2 innings, allowing four hits and one run, while striking out twelve batters. Bumgarner is looking for his tenth win of the season against the Red Sox. Last time out against the Marlins, he went seven innings, allowing two runs off of four hits in the no decision.

Tribute to Bruce Bochy

At the end of the 2019 season, Giants manager Bruce Bochy will retire. the 64 year old from France has managed the Giants since 2007, winning three World Series Championships. He was also named Manager of the Year in 1996 with the Padres. Prior to the Giants, he was the manager of the San Diego Padres from 1995 – 2006. He played at the Major League level from 1978-1987 for the Houston Astros, New York Mets, and the San Diego Padres. Lifetime, he has a batting average of .239, with 26 home runs and 93 RBI’s in his career. As a manager, he is 1,997-2,022 going into Tuesday’s game.

Born on a U.S. military base in France, Bochy moved a lot as a child, eventually graduating high school in Melbourne, Florida. He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 1975, but chose to attend Brevard Community College. In the 1975 Supplemental draft, Bochy was drafted in the first round by the Houston Astros. From there, the legacy of Bruce Bochy began.

In May 2011, Bochy was honored with the Ronald L Jensen Award for Lifetime Achievement. He was also honored by his former Community College, who named their baseball field after him in 2011. The final interleague showdown will be the last one for Bochy, and like the other teams the Giants faced in 2019, I’m sure the Red Sox have something planned for him.

Another Yaz in the Outfield

Saving the best for last. Yes, the name Yastrzemski will be heard at Fenway this coming series. No, Carl didn’t decide to come out of retirement to play some ball. His grandson, rookie outfielder Mike Yastrzemski will be in town with the Giants. The 29 year old rookie was traded to the Giants prior to the start of the season by the Baltimore Orioles. He made his MLB debut on May 25th against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Since then, Yaz is having a great season.

In 96 games, Mike has 87 hits, 19 home runs, with 51 RBI’s so far. He has a batting average of .265 in 328 at-bats. Now, he is set to face his childhood baseball team. Unlike his grandfather, he wears the number 5. Bruce Bochy revealed in a press conference that Yaz will be starting in all three games for the Giants, which will allow Red Sox fans to see the younger Yaz play the same position his Hall of Fame grandfather played at Fenway Park.

Will Carl be at Fenway to see his grandson play at the big league level? Yes, but Carl told the Boston Globe in an interview that he will be there for the game on Wednesday night. In the interview, he stated that he wants Mike to have his own career, and he tries not to get too involved, since the game has changed a lot since he played. Either way, it’ll be a great series for both Carl and Mike. Who knows, maybe the younger Yaz will play in Boston one day.

Dave Dombrowski’s Firing Comes at a Strange Time

Red Sox Nation knew it was coming eventually. However, following the Red Sox’s loss to the Yankees, social media was buzzing. The Red Sox have fired Dave Dombrowski. With about two weeks left, Dave Dombrowski’s firing comes at a strange time. What was the ownership thinking, and what does this mean for everyone else? Now, this also adds onto the offseason list. The Red Sox need to find a new President of Baseball Operations.

When news of Dave Dombrowski’s firing got to the clubhouse, many players wereDave Dombrowski's firing shocked. During the press conference after the game, Alex Cora stated that he was ‘Surprised. I’m shocked, honestly.” Dombrowski hired him to take the reigns of the Red Sox following the 2017 season, which Cora said he was grateful for.

The Timing of Dave Dombrowski’s Firing is Shocking

The Red Sox are 76-67, and just dropped two key games to the Yankees. The bullpen has been a question mark all season long. Now, here we are in September with two key pitchers injured and nobody to take over for them. Also, the trade deadline came and went, with the Red Sox sitting on their hands. This was not a good look for an organization who was trying to make a push for the postseason.

As players were getting ready to leave Fenway Park, many expressed shock and surprise by the news that Cora gave them following the game. When asked about Dave Dombrowski’s firing, players like JD Martinez and Mookie Betts said that they were shocked by the news. As more information rolls in, Red Sox Nation will have a better understanding of the situation.

The Red Sox spokesman, Kevin Gregg said last night that a formal press conference will be held on Monday. From there, hopefully more insight into Dave Dombrowski’s firing will come to light.

What Could Have Led to Dave Dombrowski’s Firing

When Dombrowski came into the organization back in August 2015, he gave us a team that brought us to the postseason three years in a row. In the 2017 off season, he also brought in Alex Cora to take on the role as manager. This past off season, Dombrowski didn’t do much. He allowed Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel to walk away. He also signed Nathan Eovaldi and Chris Sale to long term deals. That looked like a good idea at the time, but now Eovaldi is in the bullpen and struggling, while Sale has been out with an elbow injury.

Dombrowski also had a habit of bringing in veteran players via trade. For example, in July 2017, he traded two minor league pitchers for Eduardo Nunez. While Nunez was good for Boston at first, the rest of the time he was injured. Another would be in the 2016 off season, when he traded for Chris Sale. Dombrowski traded four minor leaguers for Sale. While Sale is a dominating pitcher, he is also injury prone. Case and point, he is on the injury list, and was thought to have needed Tommy John surgery.

Dombrowski didn’t allow the farm system to grow properly. He brought in players, and kept players that were not contributing. He was given a role that he just couldn’t handle. That led to this season, and how the Red Sox will not be in the postseason for the first time since 2015.

How Will This Play Out in the Offseason?

The list of things to do for Boston just got longer. On top of everything else, they need to find a new President of Baseball operations and a General Manager. Dombrowski has been filling the role as General Manager for the past few seasons, as well as doing his job. The Red Sox have a lot of work to do come the end of the postseason. This includes fixing the bullpen, and keeping certain free agents.

The next few weeks will be strange inside the walls of Fenway Park. While many were shocked, including I’m sure Dombrowski, many were not. Dave Dombrowski’s firing may have come at a strange time, but it needed to be done eventually.

Closing Out The Road Trip Against The Angels in Anaheim

Last night’s epic win over the Angels was just what the doctor ordered for the Red Sox. The Red Sox, who are closing out the road trip against the Angels, are looking to end August on a high note. They are also looking to enter September strong as well.

Before closing out the road trip at Angels Stadium, the Red Sox have gone 4-1 on the road trip. They took two of the three games in San Diego, and took both games in Colorado. They’re currently at 72-62, and 5.5 games back of the Wild Card. Do they have what it takes to get one of the spots? Who knows, but September is slowly approaching.

A Not So Rockie Sweep

After splitting the two games against the Rockies in May, the Red Sox went to Denver and took both games. Led by a 478 foot home run by Jackie Bradley Jr, the Red Sox won the game, 10-6. Rick Porcello pitched 5 innings, picking up his 12th win of the season. The Rockies starter, Rico Garcia, made his MLB debut on Tuesday night, and was introduced to the Red Sox offense right away. Garcia lasted 5 innings as well, but gave up 6 earned runs.

Game 2 was a sweet win for Boston, as Xander Bogaerts became the first Red Sox shortstop in 21 years to hit 30 home runs, and have 100 RBI’s in a season. The last time it was done, was by Nomar Garciaparra in 1998. Bogaerts hit 2 home runs in the game to lead Boston to the 7-4 win in Denver. J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers also hit home runs in the game. Eduardo Rodriguez improved to 16-5 on the season, going 5 innings, allowing 3 runs and striking out 5.

Closing Out The Road Trip in Anaheim

After an off day, the Red Sox had Nathan Eovaldi going up against Jose Suarez. The game started off with a bang, thanks to Mookie Betts’ 22nd home run of the season. Despite a 6-4 lead, the Angels tied it in the bottom of the 9th inning due to a two-run single by Albert Pujols. It wasn’t until the top of the 15th inning when Mookie Betts launched home run number 23 to left field that pushed Boston to a 7-6 win.

Game two will feature Dillon Peters for the Angels, and the Red Sox have yet to name a starter. Peters, who is in his third Major League season, is looking for his fourth win in an Angels uniform. The Red Sox might send out Brian Johnson for the game. Johnson, who has been a spot starter for Boston this season, last started on Sunday against the Padres.

Sunday’s game will have David Price against Andrew Heaney. This will be Price’s first start since coming off of the injury list. Price will be looking to improve to 8-5 on the season. He last pitched on August 4th against the Yankees, where he only went 2.2 innings, allowing seven runs off of nine hits. Heaney will be looking to get his fourth win of the season in the game against the Red Sox.

Going Into The Final Month

The Red Sox will be closing out the road trip this weekend in Anaheim. From there, the team will be coming back to Fenway Park to face the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees. This series, and this home stand, is important to the Red Sox if they want to see the postseason. Both the Twins and Yankees are on a tear with no signs of slowing down.

From now until the last game at the end of September is important. If the Red Sox want to defend their title, they need to keep winning games, and stay healthy. They already lost Chris Sale for the rest of the season due to an elbow injury. Also, starting September 1st, rosters expand, so we will start seeing minor leaguers coming up to the big league club to contribute. It will be an interesting month, that’s for sure.

Mookie Betts on the Trade Block?

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I find it weird that this even a question, but here we are! Multiple reports have come out over the last few days about the Red Sox entertaining the idea about trading one of the game’s premier players, Mookie Betts. When I first heard this, I thought the notion of the Red Sox even considering putting Betts on the trade block was absolutely bananas. Why would you trade the face of the franchise, who is just about to hit his prime and is already one of the best players in baseball?

Well, you have to ask yourself, how the heck did we get here?trade block

Earlier this year Mookie Betts turned down an 8 year $200 million contract to stay in Boston. If you’re Mookie it makes sense considering you saw Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Manny Machado get huge pay increases with their new contracts. Mookie isn’t stupid. He knows he’s better than Machado and Harper and is nipping at the heels of Mike Trout in terms of production. I’m sure if the Red Sox offered something north of $300 million Mookie might have considered giving in and agreeing to that sort of deal.

 

However, that is where the next issue lies, payroll. The Red Sox have the highest payroll in baseball and, if you haven’t noticed, are a bit strapped for cash. I guess making upgrades to the bullpen in the offseason is tough when you’re allocating almost $19 million to Pablo Sandoval for literally just existing at this point. It also doesn’t help that they owe Dustin Pedroia (who only has one functioning knee) almost $30 million over the next two years. David Price isn’t getting any younger either and is owed roughly $90 million over the next three years. In addition to these poorly managed and dead money contracts, the Red Sox used some additional payroll flexibility to sign Chris Sale and Xander Bogaerts to long term deals.

I know I’m playing captain hindsight right now, but the less frivolous spending would have given the Red Sox a bit more flexibility to lock in one of the best players in baseball. Now, by trading Betts, I can only imagine they could use the assets to bolster a depleted farm system and maybe add some depth to their pitching staff.

Keeping Mookie Long Term? Or Is The Trade Block In His Future?

If the Red Sox somehow sign Betts to a massive contract, I don’t know where else they will be able to improve the rest of the team? The Red Sox can print money all they want, but being at the top of the payroll in baseball means you are subject to a high luxury tax. Now, if you want to pay that type of luxury tax, fine, but make sure you actually stay competitive and not pretend like everything’s okay (I’m looking at you, Dombrowski).

Let’s just hope both sides figure things out and are able to come to a common ground to benefit the team and the player. I want Mookie Betts to retire in a Red Sox uniform and have number 50 retired with the likes of Ortiz, Martinez, Williams, Fisk, Yaz, Boggs, etc. However, I also want this team to be competitive in the future.

One Last Chance To Take Down Cleveland

After a homestand that saw the Red Sox go 3-3-1, they head to Cleveland for one last chance to beat the Indians. The first game starts on Monday, with Eduardo Rodriguez going up against Zach Plesac. For those who don’t know, last Wednesday’s game got suspended due to rain, and therefore will be played on August 22nd. That was the last time Rodriguez pitched. This time, he is looking to have a better game.

This last homestand saw the Red Sox slip deeper in the standings, not just in the AL East,one last chance but in the Wild Card as well. After loosing the last two games to the LA Angels, they look to end the skid now in Cleveland. Right now, the Indians are 71-47, and are tied for first place. The Red Sox have one last chance to do some damage against the Indians these next three days. Let’s see what happens.

A Royally Strange Homestand

The Royals came to town last week for one final showdown of the season at Fenway. After splitting the first two games of the series, it was tied 1-1. Now, Red Sox Nation has to wait until August 22nd to know the final score. The game will be their one last chance to grab a win against Kansas City.

The first game saw the Red Sox snap an eight game loosing streak, as they won 7-5. Rick Porcello picked up his 10th win of the season, going six inning allowing one run on four hits. Both Sam Travis and Rafael Devers homered in the game. While the bullpen did give up four additional runs, Brandon Workman pitched in the ninth inning to earn his sixth save of the season.

Game two resulted in a loss for the Red Sox, as the Royals won, 6-2. Andrew Cashner’s 5.1 innings of work resulted in all six runs, while the Boston bats fell silent. Royals starter, Jakob Junis and the bullpen kept the Boston bats quiet, only allowing two runs, despite the lineup getting nine hits. The Red Sox had multiple opportunities to try and win this game, but none of them worked.

Game three started off with the Red Sox down 2-0, but a two run home run by JD Martinez tied it in the bottom of the fourth inning. Then, Xander Bogaerts’ two run double in the fifth put Boston ahead 4-2. However, Darwinzon Hernandez and Nathan Eovaldi allowed a runner each to score, tying the game. The score of 4-4 will last until next week, when the Red Sox have one last chance to take the series from the Royals.

The Angels Faced the Red Sox for the First Time in 2019

Seriously, who makes the schedule? The last time the Red Sox played the LA Angels was from June 26th – June 28th 2018 that resulted in a sweep of the Angels in Boston. The next time Boston faces the Angels will be at the end of August in Anaheim.

After the suspended game on Wednesday, the Red Sox looked to defeat the Angels at Fenway. Game one turned into a successful one for the Sox, as they shut out the Angels, 3-0. Chris Sale pitched eight solid innings for his sixth win of the season. Sale allowed only two hits while striking out thirteen batters. Sam Travis and Sandy Leon provided the run support, with home runs in the second and fifth innings respectively. Brandon Workman, the highlight of the bullpen, came in and earned his seventh save of the season.

Game two turned into a slugfest for Boston. After giving up a three run home run to Albert Pujols in the first inning, the Red Sox responded with a total of 16 runs. Brian Johnson started the game, pitching 2.2 innings. From there, the bullpen went to work, only allowing one more run, and striking out five. Marcus Walden earned his seventh win of the season. JD Martinez went on a home run tear, homering in the fourth inning and in the seventh inning. Rafael Devers, Mookie Betts and Mitch Moreland also hit home runs in the game.

Mike Trout Finally Hits a Fenway Home Run

After taking the first two games from the Angels, the Red Sox couldn’t hang onto the possibility of a sweep, or taking three of the four games from the Angels. Game three, however saw something that has never been done at Fenway Park – Mike Trout hitting a home run. Yes, since breaking out in the majors in 2011, he has never hit a home run at Fenway. Then, with one on and no outs in the sixth inning, he launched the ball over the Green Monster off of Rick Porcello. The Angels ended up winning 12-4.

Game four was another lost opportunity for Boston. After coming back to take the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Angels scored in the eighth, and then again in the tenth inning. Andrew Cashner only lasted 1.2 innings, but a solid 2.1 innings from Josh Taylor and a strong inning each for Marcus Walden and Nathan Eovaldi proved to be promising. Kole Calhoun had other plans, as he hit a home run off of Matt Barnes to tie the game, and a single by Anthony Bemboom sealed the deal, as the Angels won 5-4.

One Last Chance to Defeat Cleveland on the Road

Following Sunday afternoon’s game, the Red Sox flew to Cleveland to get ready to take on the Indians. The Indians, who went 3-1 against the Twins, look to continue their climb in the AL Central against the Red Sox. They’re currently 71-47, and are tied with the Twins in their division. The Red Sox will have one last chance to defeat the Indians, and keep them back in the AL Central.

They will be sending Zach Plesac up against Eduardo Rodriguez in game one. Game two will feature Chris Sale and Mike Clevinger. Game three’s starter for Cleveland will be Shane Beiber, while Boston has yet to name a starter. The Red Sox will be looking at an Indians rotation without Trevor Bauer, but a line up featuring Yasiel Puig. Last time the Red Sox saw Puig was during the World Series against the Dodgers.