Boston Red Sox 2021 Season Review

Posted: October 24, 2021 in Uncategorized
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We had no business playing past game 162. Seattle, Oakland and Toronto were more deserving by playing better baseball the entire month of September. Contrast the Sox’ anemic hitting and bullpen explosions. Yet, we beat the Evil Empire and somehow squeezed past a superior Tampa team before falling to the Astros. Not bad.

What did we learn in 2021? Alex Verdugo is one of the few, and I do emphasize few, hitters who hits opposite the shift. He loves left field and left field loves Alex. J.D. Martinez is a guaranteed whiff on low and away breaking balls. At his age with his success, I find this malady ridiculous. Hunter Renfroe is indeed one of the better right fielders in MLB. Christian Arroyo injures himself while waking up. Rafael Devers is Yaz II with his back breaking swing. While successful, far too many pop ups. Bobby Dalbec should receive a 10-year deal and play first base and only first base. Xander Bogaerts is an 81 game offensive wonder, then becomes an 81 game offensive shoulder shrug. Kiki Hernandez can play almost anywhere. Christian Vazquez needs to lay off 3,000 calorie days. He is a chunk by the end of May and his defense (mainly too many passed balls) suffers into the the late summer.

The following should never wear a Red Sox uniform again and if found in Boston immediately escorted to the city limits: Adam Ottavino (at times, I thought he would weep after a difficult 2/3’s of an inning), Darwinzon Hernandez (I cringed when he would stand in the bullpen), Phillips Valdez (he hit 7 batters in 40 innings) and Austin Davis (why did Chaim Bloom trade a living baseball player for this guy?).

The 2021 Winter To Do List includes saying good-bye to J.D. Martinez, Kyle Schwarber (he is a defensive travesty at first base), and Eduardo Rodriguez, acquiring a large bat (preferably Kris Bryant or Jose Ramirez) and at least one starter of import and not necessarily a free agent. Trades are nice, especially one including Matt Barnes. As for my focus on Mr. Bryant and Mr. Ramirez, I want to see Rafa gently nudged off third base and become more of a dh. Sure, he can play third every now and then, but his true talent lies with a bat in both hands rather than a glove on one hand. 2022’s starting pitching should feature Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, Tanner Houck and a couple of guys who didn’t play in Boston in 2021. The 2022 bullpen has Garrett Whitlock closing. Hirokazu Sawamura and Hansel Robles need a lot of company.

Have a swell winter.

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