Red Sox Have Plenty Of Positives Through Eight Games

The Boston Red Sox through eight games are 3-5 on the 2020 MLB season and while the overall season looks to be in jeopardy due to COVID-19 I think it’s time we take a one week (slightly more) review of what’s standing out to me.

For the first time since 2016 I am watching Red Sox games regularly as every other year in-between I have covered every PawSox game there was. So what am I seeing with Boston? Well it’s not all bad.

The Positives

Jose Peraza Is Better Than Brock Holt: Coming into this season we knew that infielder Jose Peraza was a solid defender but the bat was more of an unknown. Thus far Peraza has been solid in the field and is hitting .281 in 32 at-bats with three RBIs. Brock Holtesque batting with better defense.

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Christian Vazquez Best Catcher In Baseball: Vazquez has been Boston’s best hitter thus far hitting .348 in 23 at-bats and has already hit four home runs and drove in eight RBIs. Behind the plate, he has been solid as usual but still seems to want to impress with his arm which at times leads to potentially costly errors. That being said, Vazquez is well on track to improve year-over-year once again and his contract is a steal.

Jackie Bradley Jr. Hot At The Right Time: JBJ is one of the streakiest hitters in baseball and as he is hitting .348 in 23 at-bats it looks like Boston might have gotten the hot streak JBJ. Over 60-games he very well could be in an MVP conversation which over 162 would never even be in question. Defense still solid.

Kevin Pillar Should Be An Everyday Player: Pillar is hitting .409 in 22 at-bats and has one home run and five RBIs. Defensively he is as advertised as well. Based on his defense and serviceable bat he should be penciled into the lineup everyday over Verdugo and Benintendi.

Nathan Eovaldi Is Acting Like An Ace: Through two starts Eovaldi has already shown he is miles ahead of the rest of the Red Sox pitching staff. A 1-0 record and a 2.45 ERA in 11.0 innings isn’t too bad considering wha the rest of the rotation has done. The problem with Eovaldi will always be healthy and stamina.

Phillips Valdez Earning A Bigger Role: Valdez looks like he is going to throw a 95 MPH fastball and then he drops in a changeup with impressive movement. Through three outings he has yet to allow a run with 5.2 innings of work and six strikeouts. Impressive stuff from a player who hasn’t really had a big league shot before.

Zack Godley Could Be Starter Material: Godley is a few years removed from a 15 win season and in his first outing he went four scoreless innings and struck out seven batters. He’s getting the start on Saturday and Boston is hoping it found a diamond in the rough.

Heath Hembree Solid Once More: Hembree feels like he has had an up and down career paired with sever overusage at times. Thus far he has yet to allow a run in four outings, 3.1 innings of work, and has picked up a win.

Matt Barnes & Brandon Workman Serviceable One-Two Punch: Barnes has two holds and Workman two saves, both have had stressful outings and appeared in three games and three innings apiece while both allowing one earned run. These are clearly the best two relievers in the bullpen and thus far they have been fine, not great, fine.

The Negatives

Keeping this one very tight.

Michael Chavis, Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers are already pressing at the plate which is a very bad sign for Boston. J.D. Martinez hasn’t been great thus far hitting .219 in 32 at-batsBaserunning has been putrid, you can be aggressive and not be stupid at the same time. Ryan Weber walked a career-high four batters on Friday night if he’s not hitting his spots he’s not effective. Speaks to lack of pitching depthChaim Bloom has had a lot of misses in the pitching department thus far. Martin Perez had a solid second outing, Valdez looks solid and Godley might have upside, everyone else has struggled.

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