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.
Hey it's going well thanks for asking... I haven't been allowed to start throwing yet.. I can't wait for that time to come
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.
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?
Eric is a contributing writer since 2013 and a true Overseas Fan of the Boston Red Sox living in the Netherlands. He's spent years on baseball fields around the world pitching. His weekends are now spent helping the next generations of pitchers to find their passion and love for the sport. More articles by Eric: https://www.redsoxlife.com/search/label/ericschabell