By Michael LeDuc @mike_leduc on May 9, 2014
Baseball season is already a month and we've learned many things about this year's Boston Red Sox team. The defending champions have had a slow start and only have a .500 record. Here are five things we've learned from Boston's first month of the season.
Boston lacks a prototypical leadoff hitter and it is hurting the production of the rest of their lineup. Ellsbury was able to set the tone last year for the Sox. He got on base consistently, was a threat to steal and gave the Red Sox many scoring opportunities. Boston has already used more than five different leadoff hitters. This disrupts the rhythm and consistency of the offense.
The Red Sox are hitting a dismal .224 with runners in scoring position. Players have been able to get ton base, but no one seems to drive them in. Boston also leaves the fifth-most runners in scoring position per game with 4.00 per game. The clutch hitting needs to come around for this team to be successful.
Many had mixed feelings of how Pierzynski would fit with this team. So far, he has been a terrific addition. He's hitting .287, which is good for second-highest on the team, with three home runs and 16 RBIs. His defense has been the most outstanding aspect he brings to this team. He calls a game extremely well behind the dish, is on the same page with the pitchers and has made smart, veteran plays in key situations.
The Red Sox have shown they are truly committed to playing young players like Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Will Middlebrooks. Bradley Jr. and Middlebrooks have struggled in the batter's box, while Bogaerts is going through the ups-and-downs of being an every day shortstop. Still, John Farrell sticks with these kids and puts them in the starting lineup. This is important for the development of these players going forward.
We all knew he could do it in the postseason, but can Jon Lester lead this staff in the long, regular season. So far, he's proven he can. In seven starts, Lester has a 2.59 ERA and is second in the American League with 58 strikeouts. Lester is the true ace of this staff and deserves to be resigned by Boston.
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