3 Biggest Things That Can Hold the Red Sox Back in 2024

Even with a winning record, the Red Sox have had a disappointing start to the season that keeps them from contending.
Apr 10, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox pitching coach Andrew Bailey (53) talks
Apr 10, 2024; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox pitching coach Andrew Bailey (53) talks / David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
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The Boston Red Sox's ownership group set expectations at the beginning of the offseason last year, saying they'd do anything to win. Fast-forward to the beginning of the season, and the expectations were to be bottom-feeders again in the American League East division.

The Red Sox tried to add but were unsuccessful with the heavy hitters. The biggest problem lies just to the south of them, as the New York Yankees loaded up (again), and the Baltimore Orioles have an unprecedented amount of in-house talent coming through their pipeline. It would have taken more than just a Shohei Ohtani signing to keep up with them,

But through a tough West Coast trip to begin their 2024 season, the Red Sox really held their own. They still have a winning record at 7-6 but already find themselves in fourth place and three games out of the division lead.

It's way too early to speculate, but it also isn't going to get any easier for the Red Sox. Frankly, their record should be better than what it is now. However, these three key components have held them down and are keeping them from obtaining greatness.

1. Injuries

It started when the Red Sox made their biggest splash in free agency. They signed right-handed starting pitcher Lucas Giolito to a two-year deal worth $38.5 million guaranteed, with a vested option for a third year. But disaster struck when he needed surgery to repair a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, effectively ending his season that never began.

Part of why the Red Sox signed Giolito is because of a trade that sent starter Chris Sale to the Atlanta Braves. In return, the Sox received a top young talent in the organization, infielder Vaughn Grissom. But Grissom aggravated his groin during spring training and has started the year on the injured list. He has not played yet but should be back sometime soon.

The most significant blow to the year came when the Red Sox lost Trevor Story. Story has yet to play 100 games since signing his 6-year, $140 million deal with the Red Sox prior to the 2022 season. He had a remarkable spring, and many believed 2024 would be the turning point. But it all came to an end when he landed on his shoulder the second weekend of the year, prompting surgery and an end to his season.