I think I could sum it up like this: as goes Mookie Betts, so go the Red Sox.
When he struggled early on, the Red Sox offense pretty much stunk. Even when the pitching was good.
That surge before the All-Star break was led by Mookie Betts and Xander Boegarts. And Brock Holt filling in for Pedroia at second. This is not to put down Pedroia. His offensive production was all for naught prior to his injury.
Out of the All-Star break Mookie & Pedroia were 0-30, Brock sat to give Napoli one last chance to start hitting and the Red Sox scored a total of 4 runs while losing 4 games.
Early on they had problems in the outfield. Hanley was producing, in April and June. Victorino was invisible due to injuries. The most productive and consistent outfielder was utility man Brock Holt. JBJ and Castillo didn’t do much when called up. Some of that was because they were not used consistently. Hanley’s defense has been horrible. He should not be in left field, but the DH is being held down by Big Papi who has hit for power, and that is about it. I suspect the “pace of play” changes messed with his head. And an inconsistent strike zone.
The Big Panda has been a big flop. He has made too many errors that cost the team too many runs. They lead the league in unearned runs scored, and possibly unearned runs allowed. At this point, it was a bad move to sign him. If you get to the playoffs, he’ll probably shine. But right now, I’m holding my nose.
Napoli apparently hits much better w/out any sleep. He has been below the Mendoza Line all season. He had one great weekend, and that has pretty much been it. This is the last year of his contract so if they decide to, say, move Hanley to first they could get a better defender in LF, and some actual production at first. Or they could bring up Nava to play first. Or Craig who is at least hitting for average.
The rotation is in serious disarray. Buchholz was on one of his amazing rolls when the inevitable happened: injury. Miley has been mostly good with some really bad performances that make him look worse than he is. Masterson: train wreck. Kelley: train wreck. Porcello started strong and has fallen into the abyss. Rookie Eduardo Rodriquez has been either dominant or horrendous. Not much in-between.
Koji and Tazawa have been solid in the bull pen but they are about the only ones.
Some of the problem is guys playing unusually bad (Napoli, Ortiz, Sandoval, Porcello), some inconsistent (Ramirez, Miley) and guys out of position.
This is a poorly constructed team. And, yes, a poorly managed team. It is really hard to figure who is really constructing this team. Ben, Larry, Tom, John? There doesn’t seem to be a consistent direction with regard to free agents. They did great setting up the team for 2013. Other than that … horrible. I suspect Ben is doing what they want him to do. They need to develop a philosophy and implement it instead of trying to hit moving targets. A core philosophy that has minor adaptations year to year. They went big on contracts before 2011. Then short contracts brought about 2013. They tried that, with the wrong guys and too many rookies, in 2014. 2015 it was the return of the big splash. Sigh.
Farrell has made some very bad in-game moves, and between game moves. Or maybe he’s being told what to do at times (play Napoli in Anaheim). If there is interference, it needs to stop. If he’s making all these bad moves, he needs to GO.
There are some very good young players on the team. Xander has made some big improvements. He is hitting over .300, driving in some runs, and playing a much improved defense. Mookie plays the game the right way and he makes everyone better when he’s hitting. Brock Holt can play just about anywhere, and has hit over .290. He has desire too- he plays hard.
I’m not sure what should be done. I do know you need a new first baseman. I do know that Ramirez needs to be moved out of left field. I’m not sure how you get this done. I’m not being paid the big money, but the ones who do better figure this thing out, and soon.