A Fans Thoughts: Preview of the 2021 Red Sox


Photo by Sonnenbergshots

Alex Cora is back in Boston and hopes to bring another World Series Trophy home.

Daniel Botolino, Staff Writer

Approaching the 2020 Major League Baseball season there were no expectations for the Boston Red Sox. They had won the World Series two seasons before but missed the playoffs in 2019. Somehow the Red Sox still managed to fail expectations. So, after a year in which they finished 24-36 and last in the American League East, what should we expect in 2021?

In this year’s off season the Red Sox were busy. They signed pitcher Garrett Richards and outfielders Kike Hernandez, Hunter Renfrow, and Marwin Gonzalez. These are all good players but not players that will make you win a world series. Then in February the Red Sox made the big move by trading young outfielder Andrew Benintendi to the Royals. Benintendi struggled in 2019 and 2020 as he had career lows in many categories both years, but he is just 26 years old and has tons of potential. The Red Sox got a low level minor league pitcher in  the trade and yet another outfielder by the name of Franchy Cordeiro who has shown some talent but has  never played more than 40 games in a season and has a lifetime batting average of .240. This deal was highly criticized by many people including myself. 

The one move that Red Sox nation was very thrilled with over the winter was the decision to bring back former manager Alex Cora. Cora had been on season suspension for being involved in a cheating scandal when he was with the Astros in 2017. 

Expectations for this season is a different conversation.The Red Sox have a good offense with stars such as J.D. Martinez, who, despite struggling in 2020, had hit over 35 home runs in three of his past four seasons before that. The Red Sox also brought back their dynamic duo in the infield of shortstop Xander Bogarts and third baseman Rafeal Devers. Both these guys can hit home runs as well as get on base a lot.

Sox pitching is a whole different story. It should be better than last season when they had the third worst earned run average in all of baseball. However, that does not mean they are going to be good. Their best starting pitcher, Chris Sale, is not going to play until at least June and Eduardo Rodriguez, who missed all of last season with COVID-19 (and then an injury), is starting off this season injured once again. That leaves Nathan Evoldi to carry the pitching rotation. Despite having one of the best World Series of all time in 2018, Evolldi has been a pretty mediocre pitcher over the course of his career. The bullpen should also be average. They added a couple of new arms to the pen but none that will change the talent level too much. They did acquire reliever Adam Ottavino who is one of the better relievers in baseball when he is at his best. 

If the offense can live up to their potential and the pitching can be okay then the Red Sox could be in contention for a playoff spot. With that being said, don’t expect them to contend for a championship this year or even in the near future. This is a team that could be very bad if they do not play their best, but could also be very fun if they do play well. This is a high risk, high reward team and I predict they will have a record of 86 wins and 76 losses.