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Author: @jprincipe8

Things to Keep an Eye on Heading into the Break

The all-star break is upon us. Only two matinees left at Comerica Park and Boston will have finished up the first half. As we’ve all witnessed, the first half has been an absolute roller coaster for the defending champs. Between injuries, slumps, call-ups/send-downs and the overall inability of the bullpen, the Sox aren’t nearly where they want to be heading into the break. This doesn’t mean all hope is lost however. The Sox remain firmly in the wild card hunt, even without playing their best ball. If Boston has yet to hit their stride and still has something in the tank ready to be deployed, get ready. This team can come out swinging in the second half and carry this team all the way back to a Division race with the Yankees. At the very least, this lineup should be able to carry this team to the wild card game. For now, we look at the last couple games against the measly Tigers. Two more opportunities to be able to perfect their game heading into the all-star break. So what should we be keeping an eye on in the final two games of the first half? Well… Porcello’s Bounceback After going seven shutout against the AL Central leading Twins on June 17th, Rick has been rocked in back to back starts. This includes maybe the worst start of his...

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The Closer that the Red Sox Need to Acquire

Clearly, the 9th inning is a problem. Not the bullpen as a whole, but the 9th inning. Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Marcus Walden, Brandon Workman, Heath Hembree, Tyler Thornburg and even Josh Taylor, have all been run out in the final inning of a game this year. The first four of those names have done well in their regular roles, however they’ve all struggled in the 9th. A Closer is a must at this point. If the Red Sox want to contend for a World Series, it’s a must. It’s a shame there wasn’t an all-star caliber Closer on the market until a couple weeks ago. Since that move wasn’t made for Kimbrel, the Red Sox are forced to look elsewhere. The in-house options haven’t worked, and there’s been too many close games lost in the 9th inning. This team needs a guy that can lock it down. Whether people liked him or not, that’s what Kimbrel was. The Market There isn’t a whole lot of lockdown Closers left in baseball, and even less available on the market. Felipe Vazquez & Brad Hand are both intriguing options, and I would definitely like either at the right price. Will Smith seems to be the cheapest option, and he would improve the back end of this bullpen. Yet there’s still one name that I like more than others. That is Nationals...

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How Can Xander Bogaerts be the Best Shortstop in the AL and not an All-Star?

Once again, Xander Bogaerts has been criminally underrated. For the second straight year he’s tearing it up. He’s currently in the midst of a career year and shows no signs of slowing down. So how the hell is he not the starter in the all-star game for the American League at shortstop? How is he not even in the top three?! Obviously, fan voting will never be perfect. However, when a player has been as good as Xander has, there’s no reason to leave him off of your ballot. Numbers Never Lie He’s first in doubles, walks, OBP and RBIs amongst all shortstops in baseball. He also ranks within the top five in OPS, runs, hits, home runs, batting average and slugging percentage. Oh yeah, and of any player in baseball, only Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger, Max Scherzer, Christian Yelich and Ketel Marte have accumulated more fWAR. Every possible category, Bogaerts is in the lead or right behind the leader. With Xander’s improved defense and more disciplined plate approach, he is ranked fWAR wise as the best shortstop in the league. Xander Bogaerts has tied the AL record for consecutive games with a double (7). Prior to Bogaerts, the last AL players to do that were Mitch Moreland and Jose Ramirez in 2017 (source: @EliasSports). — Red Sox Notes (@SoxNotes) June 23, 2019 So how is he not getting...

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