Given the fact I’m sour about how the Blue Jays and their lifeless, pool-noodle-ass bats are sitting at an ugly 3-6 to start the season, I’m looking to other teams to validate me. Specifically, I’m looking for teams who are doing badly so I can feel better about Toronto’s, uh, underwhelming-though-not-completely-unexpected poor start.
Thankfully, we have the Boston Red Sox. I never thought I would ever hear myself say that, but here we are. Fresh off a 108-win regular season and World Series championship, the Red Sox are sitting 2-7 on the season with a whopping -26 run differential. Hey, even the Blue Jays and their swing-at-literally-everything-especially-breaking-balls-in-the-dirt approach are in the green in that category.
But Boston’s pitching rotation has been an absolute disaster. The team just got spanked 15-8 by the Arizona Diamondbacks, a team that lost A.J. Pollock and Paul Goldschmidt in the off-season. Rick Porcello went four-and-two-thirds innings allowing seven earned runs. He now owns a 13.50 ERA for the season. That’s just slightly worse than Eduardo Rodriquez, who has a 12.38 ERA through two starts, and Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi, who have 8.00 and 8.10 ERAs after two starts.
Red Sox pitching:
— MUHzzilli (@MUHzzilli) April 6, 2019
Obviously Boston’s pitchers aren’t going to be this bad all year. I mean, they aren’t going to finish with the league’s worst earned run average. But are they going to be much better? Maybe not.
Red Sox fans right now… pic.twitter.com/vSPnuPIclZ
— Baseball Bros (@BaseballBros) April 6, 2019
Sale, who just signed a massive five-year extension, has seen his velocity decline noticeably so far this year. Eovladi doesn’t have much of a track record beyond his really, really good showing in last year’s playoffs. Eduardo Rodriguez, uh, might just be bad. Rick Porcello hasn’t had a good season since he inexplicably won the Cy Young award in 2016. And we haven’t even really seen Boston’s bullpen yet, which is relying on *checks notes* Ryan Brasier and Matt Barnes to lock down games? Yikes.
Boston’s poor start also brings attention to what could be a quickly-closing contention window. The Red Sox have paid two key players set to his free agency this winter, as Sale signed that aforementioned five-year deal worth $145 million, and Xander Bogaerts inked a six-year deal worth $120 million. These extensions come just after the Sox, who have David Price and J.D. Martinez signed for three more years after this one at a combined ~$50 million, gave Nathan Eovaldi $17 million annually for four years.
That’s, uh, a lot of cash tied up for a team who doesn’t exactly have much cheap talent coming up through the system. Pretty much anybody who does prospect rankings has Boston’s farm towards the bottom of the list right now, which doesn’t bode well for an aging team with a lot of expensive contracts.
We’ll see Boston for the first time next week as the Jays play a bizarre two-game-in-four-days set at Fenway. Hopefully they haven’t figured it out by then. Actually, hopefully they never figure it out.