Less than a week until the July 31 trade deadline and the Boston Red Sox have been gaining traction in the American League Wild Card race. After taking sole possession of the second Wild Card spot, Dave Dombrowski has already dealt for Andrew Cashner from the Baltimore Orioles; his work might not be done though.
Pressure on Dave Dombrowski
Best Offense in Baseball
The team has sputtered throughout parts of the season. However, the rise of Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts have propelled Boston’s offense to the top of the league. Boston leads all of baseball in runs, hits, doubles, RBI, batting average and on-base percentage. The team also lands in the top-three in walks, slugging percentage, and OPS.
The Sox have also been producing at this level without much help from the 2018 A.L. MVP, Mookie Betts. For the season, Betts is hitting .289/.399/.507, along with 18 home runs. His numbers have boosted since his resurgence in July. Since the start of the month Betts is hitting .395/.465/.709.
Pitchers Not Reaching Expectations
Contrary to the offense, the pitching staff — which has about $110 million allocated to the starters in 2019 — hasn’t produced anywhere near expectations. The Boston pitchers rank in the bottom half of the league in ERA, saves, hits, runs, earned runs, walks, opponent batting average, and WHIP.
Outside of the few reliable arms in the staff – David Price and Brandon Workman – the rest of the group has been like a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey; you’re going to miss most of the time, but every once in a while maybe you’ll get lucky.
Time to Make A Move
In the midst of the most important two week stretch of the season, not only should Dombrowski be in the market for bullpen help, but it would be a disservice to this if he didn’t make another move. In his appearance on 93.7 WEEI, Dombrowski seemed unnervingly confident about his club moving forward.
“I think we’re still in a position to sit back and see how things go,” said Dombrowski. “There’s not a lot of needs, per se, that we have with the club.”
He’s right that there aren’t a lot of needs right now. This is one of the deepest lineups that he’s had during his stay in Boston. He has a starting rotation that has the potential to be the most talented five in baseball. However, they are far from a position to “sit back and see how things go”. The bullpen has and always will be the biggest crutch to this team.
Who knows how much time left Dombrowski has left with this roster. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that Mookie Betts gets traded in the offseason. This is the year to go all in, and take another shot at the World Series.
Embed from Getty Images