BOSTON - There is no denying that the Boston Red Sox have had a disappointing beginning to the 2019 season. And while it's hard to complain after a 2018 World Series title, the fact remains that there's a lot to be desired with the 2019 club. On the bright side, the offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders, manager Alex Cora is working hard, and the starting rotation is beginning to solidify. The bullpen, however, is letting many winnable games slip away, or at least making them too close for comfort. But there is always time to improve and there will always be articles in the Boston sports media complaining about the teams that we are all so spoiled to have. I want to inject some positivity into the landscape, by doling out some mid-season awards for the Red Sox now that just two and a half months remain for the regular season.
Rookie of the Half: This one is definitely the easiest. Michael Chavis has lit up the Red Sox with a boost of energy that could not have come a moment too soon. He lifted up the right side of the infield when it was depleted with injuries. Hitting .260 with 16 home runs and 52 runs batted in, Chavis is likely in contention for American League Rookie of the Year, as well!
Reliever of the Half: The Red Sox barely have a bullpen, never mind a closer. But there are still some bright spots. Ryan Brasier leads the bullpen with seven saves, but Brandon Workman has been the true star. He leads all Boston pitchers, not just relievers, with a 1.70 earned run average in 45 appearances. He has also recorded four saves along the way.
Cy Young of the Half: Eduardo Rodriguez has become a true star for the Red Sox as he is having a career best season in 2019 with a team-best ten wins. And Chris Sale has been a stellar pitcher, as per usual, on the heels of 160 strikeouts so far. But it has been David Price who has blended the great stats with the high level of consistency. With a 7-2 record, Price has also added 102 strikeouts and a 3.16 earned run average. Truth be told, he’s been Boston’s best starter for over a year now.
MVP of the Half: Christian Vazquez definitely has a solid argument for this award. J.D. Martinez is consistently awesome. And Xander Bogaerts is making a case for himself as the best shortstop in baseball. But Rafael Devers has been absolutely unstoppable. (Humble brag: I predicted this in an off-season profile from last year!) Devers is batting .322 with 118 hits, both of which lead the team and are among the leaders of baseball. He has posted a 3.5 WAR and already has 17 home runs and 66 RBIs. His breakneck pace might even have the attention of awards voters for the AL overall.
Image via Flickr / Bart Hanlon