Well, after a little over a week of Red Sox baseball, fans received the one thing that this team was destined for: inconsistency. After a rain-out and a two-game split in Cleveland, the Red Sox were able to take two games again the reigning AL East Champs in Toronto. Yesterday, the Red Sox were embarrassed from a pitching perspective against Baltimore, but were able to stay in the game because of their stout offense. Lets take a look at the good and the bad from this week.
1. The Offense
Truthfully, this should not come as much of a surprise. In 2015, the Red Sox offense ranked fourth-best in all of baseball, averaging 4.62 runs per game. With young and developing players such as Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Blake Swihart and Travis Shaw, this offense can only get better. Through the first six games of the season, the Red Sox have scored 35 runs, which could be even larger if they did not lay an egg against Toronto on Sunday. Expect this offseason to continue to carry this team until Dave Dombrowski gets more starting pitching.
2. Hanley Ramirez
From wanting his head in the offseason to getting some of the loudest cheers at the Home Opener, Hanley Ramirez has already had a rollercoaster of a season. His defense has been borderline terrific, while he has completely changed his approach at the plate. Instead of seeing that massive leg kick, we see Han-Ram trying to drive the ball to all areas of the field. Putting aside his antics, Ramirez is one of the better hitters in baseball when his head is on straight. In the young season, Hanley Ramirez is batting .400 with one home run and five RBIs. Additionally, he has been a joy to watch on the base paths, as he is stealing bases and being aggressive.
3. Koji Uehara
To be fair, the entire bullpen has been stellar to start the season. In the previous 12 innings prior to Monday's Home Opener, the bullpen had allowed only one run. While seeing Kimbrel struggle is alarming, most elite hurlers are not great in April, as they are still trying to get acclimated to a new season and, in Kimbrel's case, a new team. Going into the season, people were concerned that the wrist injury that caused the 41-year-old to miss most of the second half of last season could end his effective, albeit short, career. However, through four games this season, Uehara looks like the same exact pitcher that won Boston the World Series in 2013. In four appearances, Uehara has allowed no hits, one walk, and struck out four. While he may not be able to keep up with his current pace, expect Uehara to play a vital role on this team in 2016.
1. The Starting Rotation
For anyone that has watched the team at all this season, this comes as no surprise. Joe Kelly and Clay Buchholz could barely reach the third and fourth inning, respectfully, while Rick Porcello was able to shake off two home runs from Jose Bautista, but still gave up four runs in six innings. Even David Price has faltered, as he was shelled for five runs in five innings in yesterday's Home Opener. Steven Wright has been the one bright spot, but knuckle ball pitchers are so unpredictable that this should be taken with a grain of salt. Moving forward, Dave Dombrowski desperately needs to trade for multiple starting pitchers.
2. Pablo Sandoval
Shocker, right? Aside from him not being able to wear a belt like a normal person without it flying off, Pablo Sandoval has apparently forgotten how to play baseball. In 3 games, Sandoval has seven plate appearances with no hits, one walk and four strikeouts. To be fair, Sandoval probably has no idea how to be a bench player, which has contributed to his terrible play both on the field and at the plate. I'm not making excuses for the guy, as he came into camp out of shape and not ready to play baseball. However, playing everyday is much different than his current role. Moving forward, Sandoval will not be in his current situation. He will either be traded, or start playing on a more regular basis.
3. Chris Young
I'm not certain Young's bad week is solely on him, as Farrell has been misusing and perhaps overusing him, but he has not stepped up when needed. For some bizarre reason, Farrell has decided to pull Travis Shaw whenever the opposing team's starting pitcher leaves the game and, as a result, Chris Young has received a lot of playing time. However, in four games and seven plate appearances, Young has only one hit. Moving forward, Farrell needs to realize how to use Chris Young, and Chris Young needs to learn how to hit again.