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FHC Sports Report

The home for coverage of all FHC athletics

FHC Sports Report

Season in Review: Boston Red Sox

Season in Review: Boston Red Sox

Coming off a 5th place finish in 2022, not much was expected of the Boston Red Sox in 2023. They had lost stars Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez, and Nate Eovaldi and hadn’t added elite replacements, with the best being Japanese import Masataka Yoshida. However, Boston had a reason for optimism with the big-money extension of third baseman Rafael Devers. Devers is locked up until 2033 and will surely be a consistent producer. For now, Boston has to focus on the cold reality of the present.

The good:

The bats. The Red Sox had a potent offense in 2023, led by Devers and Yoshida. Devers slashed .271/.351/.500 while leading the team in games played with 153. He hit 33 homers and drove in 100 runs, leading the team in both categories. Yoshida—a 30-year-old rookie— hit .289 in his first 140 games of major league action, an admirable number for a rookie, no matter his age. A seismic late-season dropoff brought Yoshida’s average below the .300 clip it had sat at for most of the year. Another big theme for the Red Sox this year was sophomore breakouts following forgettable rookie seasons. Second-year first baseman Triston Casas broke out in July, hitting .347 with seven home runs in the month. Casas finished with 24 homers in 132 games, with a 30-homer season surely on his horizon. Center fielder Jarren Duran hit .295 in about 100 games, cementing himself at the leadoff spot in the Boston order. Casas hit just .197 in limited big-league action in 2022, while Duran hit about .217 in fragments of 2021 and 2022. Veteran free agent signee Adam Duvall connected on 21 home runs in just 92 games, an under-the-radar move that paid off for Boston.

The bad: 

Despite their fifth-place finish, I actually struggled to find an outlying weakness for Boston, but if I had to pick one, I’d have to go with the starting rotation. Averaging about a 4.3 ERA, Boston never seemed to have a true number-one starter besides the stretch young righty Brayan Bello had in June, wherein he pieced together a 2.14 ERA. Bello finished the year with a 4.24 ERA, a rather average ERA despite the outlying month. The Red Sox rotation averaged about a 4.4, slightly worse than the average mark around the league. Although the expected team rotation record is .500, the Boston rotation had a combined record of 37-39, another thing that makes them slightly below average. Near the end of the year, Boston folded by firing chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom after four years with the organization. Bloom is best remembered for the trade of Mookie Betts in early 2020, a blemish on an otherwise respectable tenure running the show. Betts has cemented himself as a perennial MVP candidate with the Los Angeles Dodgers, while none of the players to head to Boston in the deal have not been nearly as good as Betts. Betts has put together a Wins Above Replacement stat of 22.4 in his four years with LA. Meanwhile, the three players Boston received in return—Alex Verdugo, Connor Wong, and Jeter Downs—combined for 9.9 WAR in their time in Boston. Downs has already been let go by Boston and is now in the Nationals’ organization. There’s doubt that Bloom will be looked upon fondly in retrospect, especially given the disaster that this trade has become.

MVP: 

The unsung heroes of the bullpen. While all-time great closer Kenley Jansen logged his 400th career save in early May and put forth an ERA under 4, he wasn’t even close to the best arm in the Boston bullpen. 37-year-old righty Chris Martin compiled a 1.05 ERA in 55 appearances, surrendering just six runs all season long. Lefty Brennan Bernardino put together a 3.2 ERA in 55 games in just his second pro season. Right-hander Josh Winckowski, who led the team in innings this season, put together a 2.8 ERA in 84.1 innings, turning himself into a serviceable multi-inning arm. Boston had 5 relievers under a 4 ERA. Having 5 above-average arms in your bullpen is usually a recipe for success.

One word: 

Acceptable. Nobody was expecting the Red Sox to be incredible this season, and they gave enough reason for us to think they could be a playoff team in a year or two, given some relatively strong statistics. With lots of top prospects like Marcelo Mayer and Cedanne Rafaela waiting in the wings, it seems Fenway Park could draw playoff crowds again soon.

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About the Contributor
Gibby is a sophomore entering his first year on the FHC Sports Report staff. He is hopeful to join varsity baseball this season after playing for the freshman team a season ago. He's a big fan of Detroit sports and the University of Michigan. He also is a big baseball brain, so he is very into baseball trivia and is prepared for any question on the subject that could be asked about him. Gibby spends a lot of time at LMCU Ballpark and keeps a close eye on the Whitecaps, even if he's not there. He's excited for the future of the Tigers and cautiously optimistic for the Lions this season. He loves fantasy football and will try to answer questions about it if asked.   Position: Outfield Favorite Tiger: Spencer Torkelson Favorite Lion: Aidan Hutchinson Favorite sports memory: The tournaments he played this summer  

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