Boston Red Sox: 3 players that failed to meet expectations this season

Adam Ottavino #0 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Adam Ottavino #0 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox
Martin Perez #54 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox player(s) who failed to meet expectations No. 2: Martin Perez/Garrett Richards

The Red Sox starting rotation was fantastic to start the season. It seemed like no matter who was pitching on the night, they were bound to make it at least five innings in the game and make sure the lineup had a chance to win the game. However, the rotation cooled off eventually, leading to a a pair of starters in Martin Perez and Garrett Richards being exiled to the bullpen once Chris Sale returned off the injured list and Tanner Houck was called up to the bigs for good.

Perez and Richards were expected to be innings eaters that would come out and get five innings when it was their turn, and for awhile they were. But they both unraveled midway through the season, and they were pretty much unusable for long stretches of the season.

Perez was re-signed last offseason after being Boston’s most consistent starter during the lost 2020 season. The burden of carrying the rotation was lifted off his shoulders with guys like Sale and Eduardo Rodriguez returning, and he slotted into the backend of the rotation. Perez was very solid through April and May, but quickly fell apart afterwards.

He gave up runs at an alarming rate, and rarely made it deep into games. A move to the bullpen didn’t work either, as the coaching staff tried to mold the converted starter into a lefty specialist without much success. He became a punching bag for opposing lineups, and it was never a good sign to see him warming up late in games, especially in the postseason.

Richards on the other hand showed fleeting moments of what he could be, but was seemingly sidetracked by the MLB’s sudden ban of sticky substances midway through the season. Richards was a goner after that, and failed to ever establish any sort of consistency on the season. He looked a bit better out of the bullpen than Perez, but he wasn’t signed over the offseason with the intent of throwing him in the bullpen due to his struggles.

Both Perez and Richards were brought in this past offseason to fortify the rotation, and the fact that they were eventually replaced proved that they failed to do just that. Luckily the team was able to adapt on the fly, but their struggles could have ended up costing this team it’s season. Ultimately, it would be a surprise to see either of these starters in the rotation by the time the 2022 season rolls around.