Should We Be Worried About the Sox?

, Jake Boynton

At the end of the month of April the Red Sox sit at 13-14, and 2.5 games behind the Yankees in the AL East. As the defending champions, I expected a hot start from the Sox this season, as they began the season defending the title, but that is not what us, Red Sox fans received.

Offensively, they only rank in the top ten in the MLB in one major statistic, on base percentage, where they are ranked 6th with a .333 average. Their next highest statistic is runs, at 112, in 11th place in the league.

One might think, with these two statistics, the Red Sox record should be higher than it is, and this is true.

However, with a team batting average of .246, compared to .277 for last year’s championship season. The top three hitter last year, Ellsbury, Pedroia, and Ortiz lead the team in batting average at .298, .301, .309 respectively.

This year, one player, Mike Napoli, leads the team in all the major batting statistics: home runs, RBI, and OPS.

The Red Sox were successful last year because they got offensive production from almost every player in the lineup.

The number one starting pitcher, Jon Lester, has also struggled this year with a 2-4 record and a 3.10 ERA.

With all this being said, I don’t think it is time to panic yet. There are 162 games in the season, and only 27 of those have been played so far. Despite the slow start, the Red Sox are just 2.5 games back in the division, which they can take the lead in with just three wins and three Yankees losses.

With such a high on base percentage, all they need to do is capitalize a bit more on the opportunities they are given.

Clearly the loss of Ellsbury is hurting the production from the top of the batting order more than I or other fans expected, seeing as middle of the order guys, Mike Napoli and Xander Bogaerts, lead the team in batting average. Like I said before, Napoli also leads the team in RBI, OBP, and OPS.

So, offensively, the only problem is that the middle of the order is carrying the team, so, in my opinion, all they need is a few other players to step up in the batter’s box.

Secondly, the pitching has not been terrible, but the fielding has been. The Red Sox have more errors this year than they did all of last season.

With all this information I presented, I think if the Red Sox simply need more offensive production from a few more players, to spread the wealth throughout the lineup, and clean up the fielding, they could have a great season.

I don’t think we need to worry, and I think this team has the potential to repeat as World Series Champions.