Far too often during the still-young 2012 season, the Boston Red Sox have been inconsistent.
There has been no telling when one of their starting pitchers would not last through the third inning. Or when a member of the bullpen would suffer a meltdown. Or when the offense would endure a power outage right when it looked to be on track.
It’s a schizophrenic identity befitting a team that’s 12–17 and dwelling in the cellar of the American League East.
This inconsistency can be chalked up to having three key members of the batting order (Jacoby Ellsbury, Kevin Youkilis and Carl Crawford) on the shelf along with a starting pitcher (Daisuke Matsuzaka) and the team’s closer (Andrew Bailey).
Will their returns mark a turnaround in Boston’s fortunes? Perhaps. But like any good general manager, Ben Cherington would be wise to have a contingency plan in place should any of those five players have trouble bouncing back from injury.
The following is 10 players—seven pitchers, three position players—Cherington would be wise to keep his eyes on.