June 2019 Check-In: Boston Red Sox
Boston, MA - After a 13-17 April, things were not looking too hot for the Boston Red Sox headed into May, though the last month has greatly improved the team's prospects. While they still can't quite hang with the league's heavyweights, they are are riding an upswing.
Where They Stand: Like I said, the Red Sox are not at the level of the league's elite this year, but there is time for improvement. They are, at the very least, no longer losing winnable games to middling teams. Boston is currently on a three game losing streak, but their record is an improved 29-28. They are eight and a half games back from the American League East lead and are tied for the second Wild Card spot in the AL.
Where They Were Last Month: 29-28 is a lot better than 13-17, but there's room to improve. Things are trending upwards, but we're not quite at the 2018 level yet.
Who's Hurt?: Brian Johnson, Hector Velazquez, and Tyler Thornburg have all left gaps in the bullpen. Dustin Pedroia is now on the sixty day injured list while he contemplates his future. Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce are both experiencing back injuries. On the bright side, Nathan Eovaldi is beginning his rehab assignment.
Biggest Strength: Offense remains the name of the game for the Sox. Some boneheaded plays on the base paths aside, most of the lineup has been consistently great this season. Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts, and J.D. Martinez have all performed admirably, but Rafael Devers is the hottest hitter in baseball right now.
Biggest Weakness: After a rough go for the starting rotation, many of the team's aces have begun to figure out their flaws. Now, the bullpen has reverted back to being Boston's Achilles heel. Craig Kimbrel is still available, mind you. Not all of these leads have to be blown.
Where to Next: The New York Yankees can't stop winning and Boston hasn't proven they can hang with the big boys in 2019. The Wild Card is shaping up as a possibility, but if the front office can do something about the abysmal pitching, then maybe the division isn't a lost cause yet.