Red Sox Pitching Needs Overhaul if They Hope to Win Next Season


Aug 3, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher

Clay Buchholz

(11) pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Nearly one year ago, Red Sox Nation was continuing to embrace the team that brought the City of Boston together in a time of turmoil. The team was winning, even though just one year earlier they experienced one of the worst seasons in Red Sox history. David Ortiz and the Red Sox made an entire region, New England, forget about the Bobby Valentine era with every swing of their bats.

The winning ways of the defending World Series Champions are all but a memory today, however,  and this season may as well be referred to as the “forgotten one.”

As a Red Sox fan, I find myself forgetting that Boston is actually still playing. Currently, they sit 16.5 games back in the AL East Standings and essentially have no chance of making the playoffs. In an otherwise underwhelming season, the only bright spots were John Lester before he was traded, and currently Yoenis Cespedes, who has been hitting well in his short time with Boston. For a team that made few roster changes from last years’ championship team, they look like a completely different lineup this season, failing in large part due to injuries and the inconsistencies of their pitching, namely Clay Buchholz.

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There are 37 games remaining in the season. Time is certainly an issue when it comes to turning things around, but the general feeling around Boston is that the Red Sox have just given up and are already looking ahead to next season. They showed this when they traded Lester away for Cespedes.

One of the biggest concerns for Boston has been the lack of power hitting. Other than Ortiz, there are no pure home run hitters for the Red Sox. Adding Cespedes has already improved the Red Sox for next season, leaving pitching is the biggest remaining concern for the future.

After years of shelling out big money for players that ended up playing poorly in Boston, ownership appears to have become frugal in their search for the best possible players, relying mostly on their future prospects. The Red Sox currently have Buchholz, Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster, Brandon Workman, and Joe Kelly. Of the five, only Buchholz and perhaps Workman are recognizable to the casual fan, and in Boston that’s a problem. For a city with so much pride in their sports, fans not knowing or caring about who is currently in the pitching rotation is proof in itself that this is an area that needs to be addressed.

There is no telling what the Red Sox will do once the offseason arrives, but if they hope to succeed in 2015, pitching has to be their top priority. Unless management realizes this soon, fans and the Red Sox themselves may be in for another disappointing year.