The Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Angels Sunday 3-1, and they can thank Yoenis Cespedes, who hit his first home run in a Boston uniform, a 3-run homer. The power hitter was traded from the Oakland Athletics on July 31st for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes. The initial reaction by fans was disappointment; sad to see their beloved Lester traded away, but Cespedes proved last night with one swing that he is the real deal, and entirely worth the Lester exit.
At just 28-years-old, Cespedes has a lot of baseball ahead of him. The 2-time Home Run Derby Champion debuted for the Athletics on March 28th, 2012, and has since proved his value as a home-run hitter. This season has been one of his best yet, and now the Red Sox are the one’s benefiting from his talents.
Pitching is clearly a problem area for Boston, with Clay Buchholz as inconsistent as ever and John Lackey and Lester, two of the better pitchers, shipped off at the trade deadline, but the team was in desperate need of some home run hitting talent. Besides David Ortiz, who has 26 home runs, the Boston roster is decidedly small when it comes to hitting, with the exception of Mike Napoli who has notched 14 homers this season thus far. Adding Cespedes to the mix can help Boston compensate for poor pitching by actually being able to score some runs.
Since the trade, the Red Sox have gone 4-5; not exactly impressive, but considering their opponents, the Angles and New York Yankees, they have fared well and kept each game close. With the season all but over, Cespedes will not be given the proper chance to really show his value, but assuming he remains with the team for all of next season, the hope is he will get to play with a competitive Boston team eventually.