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MLB Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox: 2014 First-Half Report Card

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Grading the Boston Red Sox' First Half of 2014

Boston Red Sox
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The 2014 MLB All-Star Game on July 15 marks the unofficial halfway point of the MLB season. The defending World Series Champion Boston Red Sox are currently 43-52 and sit 9.5 games back in the AL East, eight games out of the Wild Card race. The Red Sox had one guy selected to the 34-man team in Jon Lester. Here are Boston’s grades thus far in the 2014 season.

Offense

Boston Red Sox
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Offense

Boston Red Sox
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Boston ranks 25th in runs (367), 22nd in batting average (.246), 9th in on base percentage (.323) and 27th in slugging percentage (.371). David Ortiz is having a good but not great season. Boston’s outfield has been atrocious offensively. Will Middlebrooks was struggling and then landed on the DL. Xander Bogaerts forgot how to hit once he got moved from SS to third base so Stephen Drew could hit .151 and play SS. Grade: D

Defense

Boston Red Sox
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Defense

Boston Red Sox
Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Bogaerts has struggled, committing 13 errors this season split between third base and SS, but Drew has played fantastic defense at SS as usual even if he can’t hit. Dustin Pedroia is not having a great year at the plate, but he is playing exceptional defense at second base. Various outfielders have struggled this season but more at the plate than in the field. Grade: B+

Starting Pitching

Boston Red Sox
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Starting Pitching

Boston Red Sox
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Lester is 9-7 with a 2.65 ERA, and John Lackey is 10-6 with a 3.79 ERA. Both have pitched well this season. Jake Peavy has probably pitched better than his 1-8 record, but he’s been inconsistent and has a 4.59 ERA. Clay Buchholz has had an awful season, as he is 4-5 with a 5.42 ERA and has spent more time on the DL. Felix Doubront is no longer starting, and Brandon Workman and Rubby De La Rosa have contributed in that fifth spot. Grade: B-

Relief Pitching

Boston Red Sox
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Relief Pitching

Boston Red Sox
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, this season Koji Uehara has proven he is not some freak cyborg, but he’s still one of the best closers in baseball. In 20 opportunities this season, Uehara has only blown two saves. Junichi Tazawa is still an effective setup guy, and both Andrew Miller and Burke Badenhop have been effective, even if Edward Mujica and Craig Breslow haven’t been. Grade: B+

Managing

Boston Red Sox
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Managing

Boston Red Sox
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

John Farrell managed two seasons in Toronto, and the Blue Jays never finished above .500. That means if the Red Sox don’t finish above .500 this season, Farrell will have one plus .500 season (2013) in four seasons as manager. After winning a World Series last season, 2014 has been rough, mainly due to the players not producing, but John Farrell has made some curious decisions as well. Grade: B-