So far 2016 has given us some things to be happy about, after all with 32 wins the Sox are tied as the winningest team in the American League. That said, it’s hard to ignore some glaring weak spots in our roster that are making themselves more apparent of late.
Our rotation is weak
Seriously, we knew this one going in but I think it’s even worse than we thought. David Price began the year as a disaster but has since calmed things down while joining Steven Wright as one of our most effective pitchers. Meanwhile Rick Porcello is taking a one-way train to sucksville of late, Joe Kelly was sent down to the minors and Clay Buchholz was demoted to the pen. Thank God Eduardo Rodriguez is back, but his effect is limited as the Sox will be watching him closely to make sure his knee doesn’t explode.
Our bullpen is not as strong as we thought
We were sold on a 7-8-9 of Junichi Tazawa, Carson Smith, and Craig Kimbrel. Instead Smith is getting Tommy J, Kimbrel has beeb mixed at best, and Koji and Taz picked up right where they left off in 2015–right in the crapper. Outside of them we’ve got Matt Barnes, and then a load of sh*t in Robbie Ross, Tommy Layne, and Noe Ramirez/whatever other minor league reject they bring up in his place. At 3.83 the Sox’ bullpen ERA is 15th in the MLB, which while not terribly awful is not especially good either.
Our pitching depth is very thin
Should Rodriguez re-injure his knee the Sox are screwed. Who do we have? Henry-I walk everyone-Owens? Brian Johnson? Or, God forbid, they call up Kelly. Outside of what we’ve got now there isn’t too much to hang on should we falter. That’s not a good feeling.
Injuries have hampered our lineup
The lineup we’ve been trotting out lately has been good–but it’s not nearly as deep as we thought it’d be. Pablo Sandoval is out for the season, hurting our infield depth and now Brock Holt is out with a concussion making Blake Swihart and Chris Young regular starters with little depth beyond them. Should the Sox suffer a major injury at a key position there isn’t much of a safety net, meaning every man counts.
The Sox are the winningest team in the AL, but they’re teetering on the edge between greatness and a disaster. We’ve seen their best, but lately on a three-game losing streak we’ve seen their worst. If the Sox want to run away with the division they need to gain some consistency and address these holes, Dombrowski can’t fill all of them this summer but he needs to pick his battles if the Sox are to make a playoff run.