Sure the Boston Red Sox are in first place and they have some of the best hitters in the league. But the depth of this team right now is just awful.
Yes, there are always going to be flaws on a major league ballclub. But for the Red Sox, this starting nine looks pretty good. Hanley Ramirez is slumping and not hitting righties well while Travis Shaw is slumping and not hitting lefties well. And their catchers are catchers so it does not matter what they hit really as long as they play strong defense. But for the record, they’re not hitting well. So what can they do? Nothing.
At full strenght, this Red Sox bench would probably be completely different than it is right now. Sandy Leon, Marco Hernandez, Josh Rutledge and Rusney Castillo. Leon, while he has a strong arm, played himself out of a spot last season while Hernandez and Rutledge hardly ever play because the Sox are not comfortable with them.
Pretty much how the Sox would feel if those guys had to play everyday.
Not to mention Castillo — who is in a pinch-running role with the team right now because he cannot hit right-handed pitching. And he struggled against lefties in Pawtucket this year.
The Red Sox are definitely fortunate to have some guys with the skill sets they do. Castillo is fast, Leon can catch, Rutledge is a versatile right-handed bat and Hernandez is a versatile left-handed bat. But after them, there isn’t really much left.
No one in Pawtucket is really “killing it” at the plate either. The Red Sox are rather thin in the upper minors right now as Ryan LaMarre, the PawSox center fielder, seems like the only guy who might stand a chance in the majors. After all, he has hit .310 with a .839 OPS in 40 games for the PawSox. But he has struck out about three times as often as he has walked and he went 1-for-25 in the bigs last season. And he is their best option and only plays the outfield.
Just imagine if someone else gets hurt. This could be bad. Yes, the Red Sox have the best bats in baseball right now. But the pitching isn’t great. So the hitters will need to stay hot to keep this first place thing going.
Their lineup right now is kind of like a, “house of cards, one blow from caving in”.
And on the mound, there’s no clear No. 5 starter and lefty reliever. But those are issues on their own.