The 2021 season won’t be a good one for the Red Sox, as the team has too many questions on offense. The team’s top pitcher might not play in 2021 either. We do not see much out of the Red Sox for the 2021 season.
How the Offense Looks
The Red Sox had a few bright spots on offense this past season, with Xander Bogaerts going .300 at shortstop. But J.D. Martinez had a poor year where he could barely climb over .200. Hunter Renfroe and other right-handed hitters who would theoretically benefit from Fenway Park’s unique dimensions have also struggled to go places.
Losing Jackie Bradley Jr. to the free-agent market won’t help the Red Sox. Bradley is likely going to head elsewhere this season. He was one of the team’s better offensive performers last year with a .283 average.
The Red Sox will hope for Martinez to get back to his original self and for Bogaerts to continue to show his skills. Renfroe joins the team after playing at the Tampa Bay Rays last season, so there’s hope the contract talks surrounding him will be off his mind.
Dustin Pedroia hasn’t played at second base since he underwent a knee joint procedure in August 2019. He could make his comeback for the Red Sox this season, but whether he will make it that far remains unclear.
Looking at Pitching
Chris Sale underwent Tommy John surgery in 2020, and whether he will appear in 2021 remains doubtful. While he could return after the All-Star break in July, every pitcher responds to TJS differently from one another.
— Red Sox (@RedSox) December 23, 2020
Eduardo Rodriguez is coming back after missing all of last season. He will likely be the second person on the rotation to start the season behind Nathan Eovaldi. Former first-round pick Tanner Houck will also see more time in the rotation this year.
The team stayed put in the bullpen for much of the offseason. The side acquired Garrett Whitlock from the New York Yankees as part of the Rule 5 draft. He could play a substantial role as a long-reliever if he makes the roster. Matt Barnes will still see action with the Sox as their closer.
Where Will the Red Sox Finish in Their Division?
The Boston Red Sox will finish in fourth place in their division. The team has too many uncertainties to see, and there are worries that the players trying to rebound in 2021 won’t get there.
Will the Red Sox Reach the Playoffs?
We do not feel the Boston Red Sox will reach the playoffs this season. But we can expect the Red Sox to take a closer look at some of the players on the team who earn a little more. The Red Sox have one of the highest payrolls in the game at about $140 million.
With J.D. Martinez and Dustin Pedroia both earning eight-digit figures each year, there’s a chance the Red Sox might try to unload those players and go after someone else. General manager Brian O’Halloran and recently installed Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom will have some work to do if the Red Sox want to be contenders again.
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Image by: Keith Allison