As you surely already know, the 2016 season will be the last of David Ortiz's fabulous career. Big Papi is the greatest DH in the game's illustrious history, and is a member of the storied 500 career home run club. As expected, Ortiz came into Spring Training with a clear motivation to go out on a winning note in his final season, getting the attention of the entire Boston fanbase.
Behind Ortiz's glaring passion and the addition of David Price, Red Sox fans felt pretty good about their chances this season. With a dominant lineup and the addition of an ace, we all expected this team to be a lock for the postseason.
Then, the season started, and reality began to set in. The Red Sox dominated the Cleveland Indians in the season opener behind an excellent start from David Price, getting off to a 1-0 start after a 6-2 win. But then Clay Buchholz took the mound, and we were reminded that a rotation is more than one guy.
Buchholz pitched a terrible game, which was followed up by a horrendous outing by Joe Kelly, and then we saw a decent, at best, start by Rick Porcello. Through seven games, the Red Sox pitching staff has given up seven or more runs on four occasions. For a team that is supposed to be a lock to make the postseason, that kind of production is unacceptable.
There is definitely some potential in the rotation. Clay Buchholz has always had the talent to be a dominant starting pitcher, but has never been able to put it together on a consistent basis. Joe Kelly is one of the hardest throwing starters in the league, but has no control whatsoever.
But we've waited long enough for the so-called potential to be realized. It's time for this front office to take some action. With one of the greatest players in the franchise's history in his final season, and aging veterans like Dustin Pedroia, this team needs to put all of it's resources into fielding the best team possible and capitalizing on the short window they have.
The Red Sox have one of baseball's best farm systems, with most of their top prospects being at the same positions. They have tons of young pitching and infielders, some of which could be packaged and dealt to bring in the starting pitching they desperately need. But if the Boston Red Sox choose not to be aggressive and improve this roster sometime soon, we could very well see the final year of David Ortiz's career wasted.