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Eric D. Schabell
Contributing Writer

It's been a long season for the 2017 Red Sox.

This was not the way they drew it up in the Spring.

Despite the many injuries and unexpected setbacks, the Red Sox are just a half game back from the Yankees in the AL East.

The injuries have been the biggest adversary to date, with a constant stream of DL rotations that seem to have started in the Spring and continue through today.

The starting rotation has taken quite a beating this year and has never once gone through a complete cycle in tact. David Price started on the DL missing the first two months and has just gone back on the DL with the same issues after only 11 starts. Eduardo Rodriguez has fared a little better but only 13 starts to date.

Steven Wright, out for the year with kneed surgery, but doing well on the road to recovery when we last checked in with him.



It's been Chris Sale and Rick Porcello carrying the workload supported by the various call ups from Triple-A. A late addition of Doug Fister has been less that effective, but has eaten up an average of just over five innings in each of his five starts to date.

The bullpen has been effective posting an MLB third best 3.03 ERA over the season to date. Manager John Farrell has been effective in solving this puzzle, with many of the reliable pieces going on the disabled lists.

Ben Taylor and Joe Kelly are currently on the 10-day DL. Robbie Ross Jr, Roenis Elias, Carson Smith and Tyler Thornburg are all on the 60-day DL.

Despite all of this the Red Sox are just a half a game out of first place.

The key to winning is pitching, it's always pitching. You get in to the postseason with pitching and you win in the postseason with pitching. The key will be health for the Red Sox, meaning can they get their pitching healthy in time for the postseason run that is looming?

The dog days of summer (August) is just around the corner and the Red Sox have many reasons to be optimistic. If you are not impressed with your 2017 Red Sox yet, then maybe a few words from an impressed David Ortiz will help.

"They're doing good, man, they have to just try to keep themselves where they are at and leave behind all the [distractions] and just try to keep continuing winning because that's all that matters in the end."

When asked about Monday's trade deadline and what the Red Sox might need, he agreed the Red Sox could use another bat.

"A thunder [bat] is always good," Ortiz said. "It's always a plus. If they can add another power hitter to the lineup, I'd take it in a heartbeat. Who you got?"

When asked if he might be that bat, Ortiz responded with a laugh.

"Not me, man. Not me. Hey, I sit down and watch the game right now, and I'm like, 'Man, that's hard.' Seriously. I sit down and watch the game, I view the game differently now. I see everybody throwing 100 now, changing speeds -- I've been saying that for a while. But now that you're not playing, you're not competing, you're not getting prepared for it, it's like, 'Man.' Got to give the guys credit out there. Look at the guys like Sale making everyone look like junk. That's fun to watch, man. I'm so happy I don't have to deal with that."

If Big Papi is impressed with the 2017 Red Sox, shouldn't we be too?

Post a comment or via twitter @erics_redsox with your thoughts.

More by Eric D. Schabell

Eric D. Schabell 7/31/2017 10:00:00 AM Edit
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