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Red Sox Report Card – May 2017

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And just like that, another month of the MLB season is gone.

It’s generally accepted that teams have largely coalesced into what they are going to be by Memorial Day. And so, with two months gone, we should have a basic idea of what the Boston Red Sox are.

Pretty good, as it turns out.

Now, they’re in second place in the division behind the Yankees, but they’re the Wild Card leader – yes, it’s only May, but still. And the team has definitely begin to come together after an admittedly uneven start to 2017. This is a team that spent May figuring things out; barring significant injuries (new or recurring), Boston looks poised to build on a promising May going forward into the meat of the season.

On to the Report Card.

Hitting – A-

The only thing keeping this Red Sox team from the top of May’s AL leaderboard are their continuing lack of home runs. Well … that and the Houston Astros. Still, they were second in the league in runs scored and batting average while leading for the month in OBP. They managed to sit third in OPS despite middle of the pack power production. They’re not hitting it out, but they’re definitely hitting it. That said, it has been a team effort – other than Xander Bogaerts (who batted over .350 with six steals for the month) and Mookie Betts (seven homers, five steals) - everyone else has been good-not-great. Those two combined to score nearly a third of the team’s runs for the month. Rookie Andrew Benintendi has struggled, but almost everyone else contributed significantly to a strong offensive performance in May. Expect the power to continue on the upswing going forward.

Starting Rotation – A-

The Red Sox rotation had a heck of a month, all things considered. The charge was led by Chris Sale, who went 5-0 in his six starts and struck out 58 in 40 innings. Aside from a minor hiccup or two, he dominated the entire month. Eduardo Rodriguez appeared to come into his own in May, going 3-0 in five starts and compiling an ERA of 2.81. Rick Porcello and Drew Pomeranz have both been solid; maybe not quite as good as we wanted them to be, but still pretty good. There was even a complete-game shutout from call-up Brian Johnson. Really, the only black marks on the group are the two abysmal starts from Kyle Kendrick. And now David Price is making his way back. The rotation pulled down 14 of the team’s 16 May victories – they’re starting to look like the group that had the fans so excited coming into the season.

Bullpen – B

This grade was a tough one, because there’s a pretty significant divide with regards to bullpen performance this past month. The guys who have been good have been GREAT. In 12 innings, closer Craig Kimbrel gave up one hit, one walk and struck out 25, allowing zero runs in the process. Joe Kelly gave up nary a run in 10 appearances, striking out 12. Robbie Scott and Fernando Abad have both been excellent as well. But on the other side, you have some guys who really struggled. Matt Barnes was not very good in May. Heath Hembree was legitimately bad in May. And Robbie Ross and Ben Taylor were REALLY bad. Still the quality of the good slightly outweighs the quantity of the not-good, with bonus points for the utter dominance of Kimbrel – hence the B grade.

Fielding – C-

Boston continues to struggle with the gloves, managing to top their error total from April by muffing an even 20. Third base remains a defensive black hole. Marco Hernandez continue to be a mess with the glove. Bogaerts tends to have the occasional misfire, though he continues to smooth things out. Mitch Moreland has looked more like the Gold Glove-winning fielder he was expected to be. The outfield defense remains strong, albeit a touch erratic - Betts and Benintendi have been a bit inconsistent, though Jackie Bradley looks as good as ever. Things look OK at catcher; the caught stealing numbers have been strong. 

Last modified on Wednesday, 07 June 2017 10:18

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