Why Boston Red Sox Are on the Verge of Their Worst Season in Years
The Boston Red Sox have crept their way back to .500 ball by going 7-3 in their last ten games. However, in the tough AL East, that still nets them last place.
There isn't much going right for this club at the moment. The bats have started to come alive, but there are many many holes in this ballclub that will hamper them all season.
Here are seven reasons as to why the Boston Red Sox are on the verge of their worst season in years.
Jacoby Ellsbury on the DL
Jacoby was the sparkplug at the top of the order that helped this offense run.
You can't just replace this 2011 statline of: 119 R, 32 HR, 105 RBI, 39 SB, .321 AVG.
Without such a pivotal offensive player, it is tough for Boston to meet expectations in the tough AL East.
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The Red Sox have a terrible team ERA and their supposed top of the rotation guys have been dreadful.
Josh Beckett currently sports a 4.45 ERA and Jon Lester has a 4.65 ERA while Clay Buchholz has a beautiful 8.69 ERA.
They currently only have two pitchers who have pitched more than eight innings that have an ERA under 4.00 (Daniel Bard and Scott Atchison)
As the power is shifting in the AL East, the BoSox pitchers better step their game up.
Toronto Blue Jays
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After such a stellar spring training (24-7) and with all the buzz surrounding the young team, the Blue Jays are once again a team to be feared in the AL East.
With incumbents Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow doing their thing at the top of the rotation, and young guns Kyle Drabek and Henderson Alvarez sporting a combined ERA of 3.00, the Blue Jays pitching has been dynamite this season.
With 21 year old Drew Hutchison now manning the 5th spot, the Jays are young and they are good.
The Jays have always been able to hit, so if this staff holds up they could definitely supplant the BoSox near the top of the AL East.
Rest of the AL East
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The Orioles are currently 14-9. Sure, it might not last, but they too have a young core led by Matt Wieters and Adam Jones. Other castoffs like Nolan Reimold and Chris Davis are finally hitting.
All in all, the AL East is much tougher than it was a year ago and this leads to the BoSox having a down year.
Dissention in the Locker Room; Valentine the Right Fit?
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Since day one of his regime, people have wondered if Bobby Valentine would fit with the Red Sox. So far that has not been the case.
That rust, coupled with a very 'specific' brand of characters in the Red Sox clubhouse means it could take more than one season for this team to get behind their new coach, who is as different as can be compared to the man he replaced, Terry Francona.
Mess in the Bullpen
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The Red Sox attempted to shore up their bullpen with the additions of Mark Melancon and Andrew Bailey after the departure of Jonathan Papelbon to the Phillies.
Once Bailey went down with an injury, the issues in the bullpen spiraled out of control.
Melancon is now in AAA after posting 2.78 ERA last season in Houston (with 20 Saves).
Alfredo Aceves, their de facto closer, has an ERA over 10.00.
Until the issues in the bullpen has been fixed, this team will lose a lot of late inning games to the big hitting competition in the AL East.
No Captain; No Success?
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The last reason the Sox are due for a down year.
It is no coincidence that the Sox are looking terrible through their first 22 games after losing their captain Jason Varitek who has been in the clubhouse since 1998.
That consistency is gone, that leadership is gone, thus, are the Red Sox playoff hopes... gone?
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