By: Hayden Eskridge
The 2017 Boston Red Sox are very much a team searching for their identity. This is no surprise as every MLB club is still carving out specific roles for their players here in the first month of the season, determining what style of play suits them best for a October run. Despite a flu bug nastier than a Chris Sale slider, injuries and bereavement leave, the Red Sox find themselves 8-5 playing good baseball.
Sure there have been some issues. The starting pitching has been inconsistent, no one is all the way confident in the bullpen, and the home run totals are at a historic low for a Red Sox team. As this lineup begins to find itself in the post David Ortiz era, it has done so without leaving the yard. The Red Sox six home runs rank last in the league, but they have more than made up for it with extra base hits, and savvy baserunning. Mitch Moreland is a doubles machine , and the catcher combo of Vasquez and Leon have anchored the bottom of the order. Andrew Benintendi’s three hit two RBI performance on Patriots’ Day might give us a preview of what to expect from the Sox offense all season; Just keep the line moving.
Base hits, productive outs, and timely hitting not the long ball could be what defines the 2017 Red Sox. With the fewest strikeouts in the league this lineup does not get cheated, keeping the ball in play and base runners moving. We could very well be seeing the transition of the Bomb Squad Bo-Sox into the small ball era of the Killer B’s. Even if this isn't the case, the Red Sox a proving they can win in more than one way early on.
The Red Sox have capable power hitters, and undoubtedly their home run numbers will increase as the season progresses and the weather warms. Keep in mind this team hit only 16 homers last April and recovered to finish the year in the top 10. Overreactions are common early in the year and I get this team has sky high expectations, but let's not hit the panic button just because the ball isn't leaving the yard. This lineup is still one of the most dangerous the league has to offer, and i'm sure no opposing pitcher looks forward to facing it. As long as the Sox keep doing what they are doing the dance party in the outfield will keep on going.