Latest loss exposes Red Sox poor depth, decision making
Foley (@Foles74) Contributing Writer
Tuesday’s 3-2 loss to the Orioles exposed two glaring
weakness for the Red Sox.
One, the team’s depth is just not very good right now.
Really, was Rusney Castillo pinch hitting with two out in the ninth the best
the organization could come up with?
Two, the Red Sox don’t have a manager who is going to
win close games for them. That should have been clear when John Farrell handed
a game to the lowly Twins on Sunday .
That the Red Sox are tying Farrell’s hands behind
his back with the lack of a bench spells double trouble for the Old Town Team.
Brock Holt is still out with a concussion, the same
injury that derailed him a bit last year. Sadly, the Red Sox can’t count on
Holt to consistently be there the rest of the season. The team also can’t
expect to get Blake Swihart back anytime soon, either.
Travis Shaw, who is in danger of facing a recall
election for his title “Mayor of Ding Dong City,” is struggling big time, and Chris
Young playing every day in left field the Red Sox bench has become nonexistent.
The bet here is Shaw will turn things around and
figure things out during the 10-game home stand.
Still, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Red Sox trade for an
outfielder or bring up a prospect to fortify the team’s overall depth. Young
has been hot lately, but he would be better long term in a platoon.
Holt’s return as a utility player will help
tremendously, and that might be the best role for him.
There might not be any hope for Farrell in a close
game. Time after time we see opposing managers manage circles around him.
When Young was ice cold and Shaw was hot, he pinch hit
Young for Shaw time after time anyway. Then, last week in San Francisco,
Farrell pinch hit for a red-hot Young with Shaw, who couldn’t hit water if he
fell out of a boat this month.
Whether it is his mismanagement of closer Craig Kimbrel or his decision to not walk the bases loaded with the losing run on third and
one out in extra innings in Minnesota, Farrell’s repeated poor decisions are
They also are nothing new.
Who could forget the week he had last year when he
gave away games in Seattle and Texas? He didn’t seem to realize it was within
the rules to walk streaking Nelson Cruz with first base open in Seattle. Then,
he intentionally walked Prince Fielder, who was the go-head run, in Texas.
The Red Sox, of course, lost both games, and it’s safe
to say Billy Martin’s head would have exploded at the site of either move by a baseball
The team clearly isn’t going to change managers when it
is nine games over .500, and perhaps it is possible that Farrell’s positives
outweigh his negatives. We in the peanut gallery do not have the benefit of
knowing all that goes into a decision.
Plus, a weak bench can make even the best managers
seem pedestrian, so the manager should probably get the benefit of the doubt
But Boston is 4-7 after the calendar turned, and a suddenly
a fun season has turned to torment. The Red Sox are full-on stuck in the middle
of the dreaded June Swoon.
Without better depth and better decision making, they will
not break out of it any time soon.