According to a report last week on MLBTradeRumors.com, Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski is looking to add depth to the starting rotation. Initially, this puzzled me because of the obvious. The Red Sox lost two key members of its bullpen from last year. Joe Kelly moved west to Los Angeles and it was reported this morning that free-agent closer Craig Kimbrel was spotted at the Orlando airport to perhaps reunite with his former team, the Atlanta Braves, whose spring training facility is located at the House of Mouse. So why would Dombo look to fortify the starting five instead of shoring up the pen?
NBA All-Star Weekend has arrived and fans are excited for the upcoming clash between team Giannis and team LeBron. With nothing on the line and every player doing their best James Harden impression on defense, I’m always more interested in the events leading up to the game. The skills challenge, the three point contest, and the granddaddy of them all, the slam dunk contest are where the real action is. While the dunk contest has some parallels to the MLB’s home run derby in raw power, I do appreciate the finesse the other events allow the players to show off. Not only do the skills competitions allow players to demonstrate a broader range of abilities, it features players not included on the All-Star team. This elevates the profile players who may not be well-rounded enough to warrant an All-Star nod, but excel at a specific area of the game nonetheless. I’d love to see MLB take a similar approach and add some additional competitions to its All-Star weekend. Here are a few I had in mind:
The Red Sox are primed for another deep playoff run in the 2019 season. Almost every player from last year’s 108-win team will try to bring home the hardware in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1915-1916 squads. But in order for the Red Sox to come close to duplicating the success of 2018, they’d like to see a true breakout performance from one Andrew Benintendi. Benintendi had a solid year on paper, and made two of the most monumental catches in Red Sox postseason history last October. But crunching the numbers on Benny’s first full two seasons in the majors, some concerning patterns become evident. Benny needs to gain some consistency, and end the Jekyll and Hyde binaries that may cost him some big numbers statistically and financially in the future.
I thought the 2017-2018 offseason was slower than a Dallas Braden fastball but man this 2018-2019 offseason is giving last year a run for its money. Major League Baseball has been awaiting this free agent class for YEARS and now it is finally here and here we are a month away from spring training action and Manny Machado andBryce Harper are still at home unemployed. Well, last night MLB The Shows twitter account tweeted something very cryptic that left many thinking Bryce Harper would be signing today. Instead they posted this..
Truth be told, the Red Sox don’t need much in their shopping carts this off season. The starting outfield is intact for another two seasons. The starting rotation is solid, with a presumably healthy 1-2 combination of Chris Sale and a resurgent David Price returning to toe the rubber in 2019. Rick Porcello and playoff hero Nathan Eovaldi (re-signed in early December) will anchor the middle of the rotation, and some combination of Eduardo Rodriguez, Steven Wright, Brian Johnson, or Hector Velazquez will round out a group that had the best winning percentage in the majors last season. The infield has a question mark at second base thanks to Dustin Pedroia’s balky knee, but Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt have more than proven they can fill in and contribute offensively and defensively if Pedroia suffers another setback. World Series MVP Steve Pearce will platoon with Mitch Moreland at first, another combination that netted clutch results last season, especially in big playoff situations. Christian Vasquez, Sandy Leon, and Blake Swihart aren’t exactly Mike Piazza, Johnny Bench, and Carlton Fisk behind the dish, but their position is more utilitarian, and you can’t really complain too much about the way they called games in the playoffs. Really, the only issue Dave Dombrowski HAS to address is the bullpen. With Joe Kelly taking his talents to Chavez Ravine and free agent Craig Kimbrel still mired in a slow offseason, Double D needs to shore up the pen yet again, and this year, it will definitely be costly. Adding to the pressing need for bullpen arms, is the aggressive activity of our friends 215 miles south of Boston.
By: Spencer Weeks