Saturday, April 11, 2015

2015 Pre-Season Profile: Boston Red Sox

Okay, it may not be pre-season anymore, but I can still give a season preview.  The Boston Red Sox went from worst (2012) to first (2013) to worst again (2014).  Will 2015 bring another bounce back year?

Last Season
71-91, 5th in AL East

The Red Sox followed up a magical World Series run in 2013 by falling back down to earth and the cellar of the AL East.  No one has had such up and down swings in recent memory.  With the talent level of their roster, it's a mystery how they are able to drop that low every other year.  It's like they are turning into the odd-yeared version of the Giants.

2015 Additions / Subtractions

The Red Sox were extremely active this offseason.  After signing two of the biggest free agents this offseason, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, to bolster their offense, they brought in Rick Porcello, Justin Masterson, and Wade Miley to strengthen their starting rotation.  The Red Sox roster is completely retooled and revamped and ready to make another push in 2015.

Most Important Hitter
Pablo Sandoval

Kung Fu Panda rode a mediocre season and a heroic postseason in 2014 to a big contract signing in 2015 with the Red Sox.  The Sox paid him to be the postseason hero, and they need him to be that level of player for this signing to be worth it and for their season to be a success.

Most Important Pitcher
Clay Buchholz

Clay Buchholz had some serious issues in 2014.  Now that Jon Lester has moved on, they need Buchholz to be back to his All Star form and be the ace of their staff.

Player to Watch
Rusney Castillo

He may not be starting on the Boston roster this season, but Cuban defector Rusney Castillo has the potential to be the next Cespedes or Puig by the end of the season.  Inevitably, someone in that outfield is going to get hurt, and Castillo will get his shot.

2nd in AL East, WILD CARD, Lose in Wild Card Game

It is time for the Red Sox to bounce back in 2015.  They may not make their way all the way back up to the top of the division and the league, but a playoff birth is definitely a possibility this year.  We will see how long this window of opportunity stays open with an aging David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, and Sandoval and Ramirez not being young.  I give them maybe three more seasons before they have to start all over again (which I guess they had to do this year).

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