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.
The Red Sox have the offensive power to go the distance this year; no question about it. Sadly for the loyal fans in Boston, the consistent problems in the bullpen may prevent them from any post season accomplishments. While the Sox have over 100 wins on the season with 5 games to play, the only team this season to reach that mark thus far, the bullpen struggles have become even more severe in the 2nd half of the season. The Sox own an MLB worst 12 bullpen blown saves since the All Star break. Time is running out in Boston to fix this issue; the Yankees, Astros, and Indians will surely capitalize on this weakness if it isn’t turned around. See All Teams Here!
30. Chicago White Sox (21-41) Previous Ranking – 26
Chicagoans continue to claim this White Sox squad is built for the future, which I hope has some truth to it; the present isn’t looking to hot… Pitching is the main problem of this ballclub, but it also could be time for some coaching changes. The long season continues for White Sox fans.