Saturday, 28 April 2012
First in the MLB in runs. First in the MLB in doubles. First in the MLB in RBI's. Second in the MLB in hits. Second in the MLB in team batting average. Second in the MLB in team slugging percentage. Second in the MLB in team OPS (On-Base percentage + Slugging). But yet the Boston Red Sox are still last in the AL East with a losing record.
With all these fantastic stats going for them, you would think the Boston Red Sox would not only be first in their division, but a top team in the MLB. At a closer look though, you will realize that all these stats are offensive stats. Go figure. A team with Youkilis, Pedroia, Ortiz, and the newly imported Cody Ross, you'd expect them to be an offensive force, but what about the pitching?
The Boston Red Sox have the worst ERA in the MLB at 5.86, third in homeruns allowed, and they have the second highest WHIP in the MLB. The Boston Red Sox rotation and bullpen is not getting the job done.
After the Andrew Bailey injury to begin the season, the Red Sox had to find a pitcher to fill the closer role. Their two options were Mark Melancon and Alfredo Aceves. A lot of people would say that Daniel Bard would fit the closer role, but the Red Sox needed someone to fill that 5th spot in the starting rotation therefore the closer job was for Melancon or Aceves. The Red Sox made Aceves the closer but him and Melancon have both had oppurtunities to close games. This is where the bad news comes into play. Melancon has a 49.50 ERA and Aceves has a 14.40 ERA so far this season. This is a combined 63.90 ERA between the two. Totally unacceptable but you cannot put all the blame on the closers.
The starting rotation has been a huge problem. The funniest thing is that their number 5 starter, who was just introduced to the starting role this year, has the lowest ERA at 3.72 between the rest of the starters. Between all the starters, they have an outrageous 27.24 combined ERA. To put it into perspective, the team ahead of them in their division, the Toronto Blue Jays, only have a 19.34 combined ERA between the starters.
By putting all these stats into perspective, you can see that the clear problem for the Boston Red Sox right now is their pitching. Something has to change for the Red Sox pitchers to get them going. The Red Sox could be in the midst of discussing a trade or maybe even signing Roy Oswalt to beef up their rotation. If the Red Sox were to sign Roy Oswalt, then they could move a player such as Bard to the closing position, but that's just a thought.
Pitching is key to the success of the Boston Red Sox especially with a beefed up, hard hitting AL East this year. The problem is clear for the Boston Red Sox, they just need to slove it. Follow @BaseballBo