The Boston Red Sox made a series of roster moves on Friday. Infielder Eduardo Nunez was placed on the 10-day injured list with a mid-back strain and Tzu-Wei Lin and Michael Chavis were called up since second baseman Dustin Pedroia and infielder Brock Holt are on the injured list.
The Tampa Bay Rays have the best record in baseball early in 2019 and a wave of people still don’t think they have a chance to win the division. With the Yankees and Red Sox getting off to slow starts, the Rays have capitalized and are trying to create a wide gap between those teams in the division race. Do the Rays have a real chance to win the division and compete for a title in 2019?
If you’re a Boston Red Sox fan, you probably had high expectations for the 2019 season. After winning a franchise-high number of games and eliminating every playoff opponent with relative ease, the club brought back nearly every member of the 2018 squad.
There were a few questions surrounding the bullpen and closer spot, but still, Red Sox Nation marched into Opening Day in high spirits. New England was ready for another great season and, hopefully, a second consecutive World Series championship.
Last year, Boston dominated Major League Baseball. At the risk of repeating something you’ve already read 100 times, the Red Sox won 108 regular-season games and won 11 of 14 games in three playoff series. The best season in franchise history was accomplished despite a bullpen that was the source of concern throughout the year.
What’s the status of this year’s bullpen and how will it impact the team’s chances of back-to-back World Series titles? Here are some thoughts to answer that broad question.
The bullpen last year was led by Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Steven Wright, Bobby Poyner, and closer Craig Kimbrel. While it was definitely the weakest part of the team and was worrisome among the fans of Red Sox Nation, the numbers were surprisingly solid.
The Boston Red Sox had few questions entering the 2019 season. Coming off of the most successful year in franchise history, they only lost two players – elite closer Craig Kimbrel, and playoff hero Joe Kelly – to free agency. With the bullpen and closer spots becoming the only needs that had to be addressed this offseason, the Red Sox made the trip down to Fort Myers, Florida, home of JetBlue Park, in high spirits. It was Spring training, and it was time to prepare for the long road to winning back-to-back championships. The mood wouldn’t last long.