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These three glaring roster holes will keep the Boston Red Sox from going to the World Series.
Early results for the 2022 Boston Red Sox have not been promising. They were one of four teams that began the year looking like they could contend for the American League East crown. Right now, they appear likely to finish in fourth place ahead of only the Baltimore Orioles.
The reason for this is partly because of injuries, partly because of unforeseen struggles, and also due to the fact that they simply didn’t have the best roster. Normally one of the big spenders in the offseason, Boston didn’t do much other than adding free agent Trevor Story.
While Story has struggled, he’s hardly one of the roster holes keeping the Red Sox from winning a World Series. The team has three other major roster holes which should prevent them from a pennant.
1) Red Sox roster hole: An outfield of underachievers
The days of Mookie Betts patrolling the Fenway Park outfield 81 times a year are far gone. This year’s group of outfielders is underperforming at a high level.
Alex Verdugo has been their best player—by default in some ways. The left fielder has hit .217/.255/.337 in his first 102 plate appearances. He has hit three home runs and driven in 13. By far, he has been the best-hitting outfielder on the club.
As much of a spark as Enrique Hernandez is from a personality standpoint, he’s not as reliable as an everyday player as he would be in a super utility role. The team’s regular center fielder is hitting .189/.262/.305 in his first 107 trips to the plate.
Then there’s Jackie Bradley Jr. over in right field. The reunion has been costly to the payroll and standings. After hitting only .163/.236/.261 for the Milwaukee Brewers last year in 428 trips to the plate, he’s back with Boston slashing only .200/.268/.293 after 83 opportunities to do more. He has yet to even hit a home run.
A typical outfield should have at least one top bat in it. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, they have three glaring holes in the lineup right now coming from all three spots.