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Author: @JamieGatlin1217

Sam Travis at a Crossroads Entering 2018

Spring Training so Far for Sam Travis Last year the Red Sox had high hopes for Sam Travis. He hit well in the minors, and by some was seen as the first baseman of the future. That’s not how 2017 season went, and a year later Travis is unlikely to break camp with the Red Sox. He is blocked at first base by Hanley Ramirez and Mitch Moreland, who the Sox resigned to a two year deal in the offseason. The Red Sox have not given up on the Indiana product. He will need to bounce back at the plate and show more power. Travis will be one phone call away in Pawtucket and will be motivated to make it back. Photo Credit: Ap Photo/ Steven Senne What Went Wrong in 2017 The Red Sox drafted Travis in the second round of the 2014 MLB draft. He didn’t have a lot of hype coming out of the draft but he was a polished bat. Travis moved quickly through the system and seemed poised to make his MLB debut in 2016. Travis was unable to do that as he tore his ACL in May of 2016 and didn’t play all season. This made 2017 a prove it year for Travis. He would make his MLB debut but failed to show that he was starter caliber. In Pawtucket he hit .270 which...

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The Emergence of Riley Nash

2018 Season so Far This year the Boston Bruins have been led by their youth. The young players have come as advertised and propelled the Bruins to the top of the Eastern Conference. Riley Nash doesn’t fall under that category. He is in his seventh NHL season, but he’s been key this year. Through seventy games he has a career high of 15 goals and 25 assists. He’s stepped up when the Bruins needed him the most and been key for this team. Like the other veterans on this team he’s complemented the rookies well and is quietly having a career year. Photo Credit: Mark LoMoglio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Riley Nash’s First Year in Boston Prior to the 2016-2017 season Nash spent the first five years of his NHL career with the Carolina Hurricanes. In Carolina the most points he had in a season was 25. This year, with 12 games left, he already has forty. In his first season in Boston Nash scored seven goals and contributed ten assists. This year has been much different for the former Hurricane who wasn’t seen as a big part of the Bruins offensive attack. He’s spent a lot of time on different lines contributing wherever he’s been put. Head coach Bruce Cassidy has shown his faith in Nash and even moved him up to the first line when for an injured Patrice Bergeron....

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2018 Outlook for Rick Porcello

Porcello’s Career in Boston so Far Rick Porcello has experienced his fair share of highs and lows since arriving in Boston. The Red Sox acquired him in the winter of 2014 from the Tigers in exchange for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes. In his first season following the trade, Porcello had fifteen loses and ERA of almost five. His second year in Boston was the complete opposite, as he won twenty-two games and the AL Cy Young award. Last year he struggled again and was unable to repeat his Cy Young performance. He lost a career high seventeen games and again had an ERA above four. This season will be his fourth year in Boston, and it should be an interesting one. Photo Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images 2017 Struggles Unlike Sale and Price, Porcello is not a strikeout machine. He is a sinkerball pitcher who pitches to contact. Last year he allowed a career high thirty-eight home runs and a career high two hundred and thirty-six hits. This was a result of a couple of factors. Last year his signature sinkerball pitch didn’t have the same effect. He pitched more up in strike zone making his pitches easier to hit. He does not throw the ball very hard which means he can’t just blow people away. What makes Porcello effective is when he’s able to stay out of the upper part of...

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Why 2018 Could Be David Price’s Best

Price’s Red Sox Career so Far 2018 will be a year that will define David Price’s career. Since he signed with the Red Sox prior to the 2016 season, things haven’t gone as planned. Price won seventeen games in his first year in Boston, but had an ERA of 3.99 and struggled in his only postseason start. Last year he was injured for the majority of the season and clashed with the media. People started to question his character and if he should stay in Boston. He returned in the playoffs as a reliever and was dominant. He came up big when the Red Sox needed him the most and did not give up a run in his two appearances. Price will be looking to build off that and be the ace the Sox envisioned when they signed him. Photo Credit: Bob DeChiara- USA Today sports What Last Year’s Playoff Performance Meant As a reliever last year Price had perhaps his best performances as a Red Sox. Up until the point he hadn’t had a clutch moment in a Red Sox uniform. In Game 3 of the American league Division Series, he entered the game with the Sox clinging to a 4-3 lead. With the Red Sox facing elimination he put them on his back and pitched four scoreless innings. It wasn’t the dominant playoff start that Price has...

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Injury Bug Could Define Bruins’ Season

Injury Bug Hits Bruins So far this season the Bruins have delivered more than many expected. They were not supposed to be one of the best teams in the NHL. The youth has arrived and exceeded all expectations. The Stretch that will truly define them is now. The injury bug has hit the Bruins, as they will be without Charlie McAvoy and Patrice Bergeron for the next few weeks. Tuukka Rask should be back soon, but he’s missed the last two games. So far, without their two top players the Bruins have done well, and even though it hasn’t always pretty they have found a way to win. The Bruins won their first game without McAvoy last night and are 4-0 without Bergeron. Both players are key to the Bruins as they impact the game in so many ways. Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer/ AP Photo Deadline Deals Become More Important At the trade deadline the Bruins were one of the busiest teams. Other than the Rick Nash deal the Bruins made minor moves to improve their depth. They did not know that depth would be tested so quickly. So far, these additions have been very productive. Nick Holden was having a down year in New York, but he’s recorded a point in each of his first two games in Boston. Tommy Wingels was not seen as a significant addition by...

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Irving Poised to Lead the Celtics

First Half In Kyrie Irving’s last nine games, the superstar point guard has averaged twenty-five points a game. This has been a crucial stretch for the Celtics, as before the All-Star Break they looked lost. Since the break the Celtics are 4-0 and look like a different team. Irving, to no surprise, has stepped up his game. One of the reasons why Irving wanted out of Cleveland was to lead his own team. Ever since the Celtics acquired him he has become the face of the franchise. With the injury to fellow star Gordon Hayward in the first game of the season he’s had to be even better. The Celtics are in the stretch run of the season and Irving has raised his game further. Photo Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports Irving Since the Break Before the All-Star break Kyrie was having another very good season. His averages were similar to his days in Cleveland. Since the break his scoring has increased, and he’s taking over games with more ease. He is playing at an MVP caliber when the Celtics need it the most. Earlier in the season he was explosive, but not the game changer he’s been over the last four games. In four games since the break he’s scored less than twenty-five points in a game once. He is shooting 54 percent from the field and fifty...

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A Healthy Rask Will Be Key for Bruins

Final Stretch As the season winds down, it will be crucial that the Bruins keep Tuukka Rask fresh. This will allow him to be at his best in big games down the stretch and in the playoffs. That is why Anton Khudobin’s play becomes critical for the remainder of the season. Rask and the Bruins have not advanced past the first round of the playoffs since the 2013-2014 season. This year they are one of the best teams in the league and seem poised to break that streak. Being able to rest Rask will be essential, something the Bruins have not been able to do in the last couple years. Rask’s Backups Over the last three years Rask averaged over sixty games a year. This has been because of inconsistent play by his backups. The Bruins ideally want him to play 50-60 games during the regular season. Before last season the Bruins suffered two consecutive late season collapses, causing them to miss the playoffs. As a result, Rask has received criticism for not being clutch when the Bruins need him the most. Last year Khudobin had an amazing second half but struggled in the first half. This caused the Bruins to rely on Rask more than they would have liked. So far this year Rask’s numbers are better and Khudobin has had a career year. At times he made his own case to...

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2018 Outlook for Drew Pomeranz

Boston Trades for Drew Pomeranz In July of the 2016 season the Red Sox acquired Drew Pomeranz from the San Diego Padres. The Sox gave up Anderson Espinoza, their top pitching prospect who had received comparisons to Pedro Martinez. At first it seemed like Dombrowski made a mistake as his new pitcher struggled. Pomeranz was in the midst of breakout season with San Diego, but in 14 games with Boston he had a 4.59 ERA. Last year he rebounded by winning 17 games with an ERA of 3.32. Pomeranz will be looking to build on that success in 2018. Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer/ Associated Press Pomernaz’s Breakout 2017 In 2010 Pomeranz was taken fifth overall in the MLB draft. Since then he’s pitched for four teams, including the Red Sox. Last year was the first season of his career in which Pomeranz was able to stay healthy and pitch to his potential. However, last season was not entirely great for the former fifth overall pick, as for the early part of 2017 he continued to struggle. Through for the first two months of the season he had an ERA of 4.24. From June on he was a different pitcher and became the second best starter Red Sox. Boston needed this badly, as David price was injured and would not return until the playoffs. The question for Pomeranz is can he...

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Bruins Acquire Holden from Rangers

Bruins Acquire Holden Yesterday the Bruins acquired a defenseman from the New York Rangers, but his name is not Ryan McDonagh. The Bruins traded for Nick Holden from the Rangers in exchange for Rob O’Gara and a third-round pick in the 2018 draft. So far this season he has three goals and nine assists. O’Gara didn’t seem to have a future with the Bruins. He has spent the majority of the season in the AHL and has only appeared in eight games for the Bruins. Photo Credit: Brad Penner- USA TODAY Sports Rangers Fire Sale Begins Holden is not the number one defenseman Bruins fans wanted. In a letter to fans the Rangers management hinted at a rebuild. They are expected to explore trades for some of their top players including Rick Nash and McDonagh. The Bruins were seen as a landing spot for McDonagh, but the cost would have included talented forward Jake Debrusk. By setting the market at a third-round pick for Holden the Rangers could get more for their other players. While Holden struggled in New York this year there is hope he could rebound in Boston. Photo Credit: John Wilcox How Holden Fits on the Bruins In New York Holden was used as a top defenseman. In Boston he won’t be asked to fill that role, which could make him more effective. He is expected...

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