2018 BOSTON RED SOX BASEBALL CAPSULE

 

MANAGER: ALEX CORA

 

2017 RECORD: 93-69

 

HOME RECORD: 48-33

 

ROAD RECORD: 45-36

 

2018 PREDICTION: 2ND, AL EAST

 

TEAM INFO:

Fenway Park

OPENED: 1912

LEFT: 310

CENTER: 390

RIGHT: 302

 

SEASON OPENER: March 29 at Tampa Bay

 

FIVE YEAR WINNING TREND:

2013: 97

2014: 71

2015: 78

2016: 93

2017: 93

 

2018 PLAYERS TO WATCH ( 2017 NUMBERS)

OF Mookie Betts, 24HR, 102RBI, 26 SB

OF Andrew Benintendi, 20 HR, 90 RBI, 20 SB

OF Jackie Bradley Jr.,  17 HR

DH, Hanley Ramirez, 23 HR

1B, Mitch Moreland, 22 HR

2B, Dustin Pedroia, .293 BA

SS, Xander Bogaerts, 10 HR, 15 SB

DH/1B JD Martinez, 45HR (with Detroit and Arizona)

P, Chris Sale, 17 – 8, 2.90 ERA, 308 K

P Craig Kimbrel, 35 SV

P Rick Porcello, 11 – 17

P David Price, 6 – 3, 3.38 ERA

P Drew Pomeranz, 17 – 6, 3.32 ERA, 174K

 

2018 TOP PROSPECTS

LHP Jason Groome

RHP Tanner Houck

3B Michael Chavis

RHP Bryan Mata

RHP Mike Shawaryn

OF Cole Brannen

 

BOSTON BY THE NUMBERS

59.4 – Craig Kimbrel’s percentage of contact from swings of his opponents.

37.0 – Drew Pomeranz paced qualified starters last season by throwing his curveball 37% of his pitches.

17.0 – Andrew Benintendi’s strikeout rate was the third-best among rookies with at least 300 plate appearances.

49.6 – the percentage of hitters Craig Kimbrel struck out last year.

15 – Boston’s rank in the American League in home runs (168).

127 – the  millions of dollars Boston can save on David Price’s contract if he exercises his opt-out following this season.

.407 – Chris Sale’s winning percentage after September 1.

1 –Playoff victories since winning the 2013 World Series.

0.00– Pitcher David Price’s ERA as a reliever last year.

 

 

Healthy Price may be key for Red Sox

BOSTON — The transaction wire doesn’t show one of the biggest re-additions the Red Sox should have in 2018. It comes in the form of a healthy David Price, which Boston didn’t have for most of last season.

For all of the reasons to be excited about Spring Training — which starts officially on Feb. 14 — the biggest for Boston is Price.

“We’re expecting David Price to have an outstanding year,” said Red Sox chairman Tom Werner. “When you have a rotation of Price, [Chris] Sale and [Rick] Porcello as your top three, you’re going to be dominating.”

Price, a five-time All-Star, was limited to just 11 starts last season due to left elbow woes. But he did return in time to put on two dominant displays of relief pitching against the Astros in the American League Division Series, which the Red Sox lost in four games.

“He singled-handedly almost beat the Astros in the playoffs, and the way he threw the ball with conviction, I’ll take that,” said new Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was the bench coach for the Astros last season.

Cora looks forward to being able to hand the ball to Price every fifth day in a rotation that also includes a six-time All-Star in Sale and an emerging lefty in Drew Pomeranz, who is coming off a 17-win season. If Porcello can bounce back from an inconsistent season and Eduardo Rodriguez makes a strong recovery from his right knee surgery, Boston could have a loaded rotation.

Perhaps the Red Sox don’t get enough credit for winning 93 games last year despite Price missing approximately 20 starts. If he can make 30 to 33 starts this season, the Red Sox should feel good about their chances to return to the postseason for the third straight year.

Given Price’s importance to the team’s outlook in 2018, look for his first few bullpen sessions and live batting practices in camp to generate plenty of media and fan attention. Everyone will want to catch a glimpse to see what his stuff looks like after a productive winter.

Price should be a cornerstone if he can build off the momentum he created late last season. To that end, he hasn’t experienced any arm issues this offseason. In fact, he is already at Spring Training, more than a week before pitchers and catchers have their first formal workout.

In December 2015, the Red Sox signed Price to a seven-year, $217 million contract.

The lefty displayed strong durability in his first season with the Red Sox with an AL-leading 230 innings, and he also had 228 strikeouts. He finished that season 17-9 with a 3.99 ERA. In his 11 starts last year, he was 5-3 with a 3.82 ERA

Price would be the first to acknowledge that he can do better. Red Sox fans haven’t seen him at his best yet for a full season, but there’s still plenty of time. That quest starts at Spring Training, as Price will start healthy and try to stay that way wire to wire.

 

WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING ABOUT THE RED SOX:

The reality is, on paper, the Yankees have passed the Red Sox. When New York pulled off a trade for slugger Giancarlo Stanton from the Marlins, Boston saw New York become the biggest threat to their back –to- back American League East division titles. You could see Stanton, Judge and Sanchez going over the monster repeatedly because the Red Sox have so many left-handers in the rotation. Chris Sale is the best left-handed pitcher in the majors and Boston will have to be smart about the way the use Drew Pomeranz. Right now, David Price is an unknown because of his elbow injury. Rick Porcello has good stuff, but must find his command. Boston’s young core of pitchers is very impressive. Andrew Benintendi has all lot of ceiling remaining and Jackie Bradley is a fabulous defender. Mookie Betts can do it all. Third baseman Rafael Devers will get a chance to play an entire season. In just 58 games last season, Devers hit .284 with 10 home runs. The key to this season will be manager Alex Cora’s ability to inspire he is younger players. If Betts, Bogaerts, Benintendi and Devers play like All-Stars, the Red Sox could surprise the Yankees. If they don’t, the baseball world will be trying to figure out how Boston fell apart so quickly. Boston signed free agent JD Martinez who hit 45 homeruns between time at Detroit and Arizona. He will add power to a line-up that finished last in the AL in HR’s.

 

40 MAN ROSTER:

Pitchers

#                           Name    B/T         Ht           Wt          DOB

68                          Matt Barnes       R/R        6’4″        210lbs   6/17/90

—                          Jalen Beeks         L/L         5’11”      195lbs   7/10/93

—                          Ty Buttrey           L/R         6’6″        230lbs   3/31/93

29                          Roenis Elias        L/L         6’1″        205lbs   8/1/88

37                          Heath Hembree R/R        6’4″        210lbs   1/13/89

—                          Williams Jerez    L/L         6’4″        200lbs   5/16/92

61                          Brian Johnson    L/L         6’4″        235lbs   12/7/90

56                          Joe Kelly              R/R        6’1″        190lbs   6/9/88

46                          Craig Kimbrel      R/R        6’0″        210lbs   5/28/88

71                          Austin Maddox  R/R        6’2″        220lbs   5/13/91

31                          Drew Pomeranz R/L         6’6″        240lbs   11/22/88

22                          Rick Porcello       R/R        6’5″        205lbs   12/27/88

24                          David Price          L/L         6’5″        215lbs   8/26/85

52                          Eduardo Rodriguez          L/L         6’2″        220lbs   4/7/93

41                          Chris Sale            L/L         6’6″        180lbs   3/30/89

63                          Robby Scott        S/L         6’3″        220lbs   8/29/89

—                          Chandler Shepherd          R/R        6’3″        185lbs   8/25/92

39                          Carson Smith      R/R        6’6″        215lbs   10/19/89

64                          Ben Taylor          R/R        6’3″        225lbs   11/12/92

47                          Tyler Thornburg                R/R        5’11”      190lbs   9/29/88

76                          Hector Velazquez             R/R        6’0″        180lbs   11/26/88

67                          Brandon Workman          R/R        6’5″        235lbs   8/13/88

35                          Steven Wright    R/R        6’2″        215lbs   8/30/84

Catchers

#                           Name    B/T         Ht           Wt          DOB

3                            Sandy Leon         S/R         5’10”      225lbs   3/13/89

23                          Blake Swihart     S/R         6’1″        200lbs   4/3/92

7                            Christian Vazquez             R/R        5’9″        195lbs   8/21/90

Infield

#                           Name    B/T         Ht           Wt          DOB

2                            Xander Bogaerts              R/R        6’1″        210lbs   10/1/92

11                          Rafael Devers     L/R         6’0″        195lbs   10/24/96

40                          Marco Hernandez             L/R         6’0″        200lbs   9/6/92

12                          Brock Holt           L/R         5’10”      180lbs   6/11/88

5                            Tzu-Wei Lin         L/R         5’9″        155lbs   2/15/94

17                          Deven Marrero  R/R        6’1″        195lbs   8/25/90

18                          Mitch Moreland               L/L         6’2″        230lbs   9/6/85

15                          Dustin Pedroia   R/R        5’9″        175lbs   8/17/83

59                          Sam Travis          R/R        6’0″        205lbs   8/27/93

Outfield

#                           Name    B/T         Ht           Wt          DOB

16                          Andrew Benintendi          L/L         5’10”      170lbs   7/6/94

50                          Mookie Betts     R/R        5’9″        180lbs   10/7/92

19                          Jackie Bradley Jr.              L/R         5’10”      200lbs   4/19/90

—                          Bryce Brentz       R/R        6’0″        210lbs   12/30/88

Designated Hitters

#                           Name    B/T         Ht           Wt          DOB

13                          Hanley Ramirez R/R        6’2″        235lbs   12/23/83