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2024 Boston Red Sox Preview

2023 Results: 78-84 5th AL East

written by: #RedSox4Devers

The Boston Red Sox begin their 124th season on March 28th. The team finds themselves beginning the season on a 10 game West Coast Road trip. If we are being honest with ourselves, these may be the least hyped Opening Day for the Red Sox in a long time. The 2023 season was a long and rough season. Finishing the season last place in the AL East for the Third time in  Four seasons, having a owner who refuses to use the checkbook, losing out on key-free agents, watching the last pieces of the Betts trade walk away for pretty much nothing is pretty damn frustrating for the Fenway Faithful.

“If the owner doesn’t care about this team, why should the fans?” I have seen this quote throughout various fan groups all winter. John Henry seems to be driving this team into the ground. This season we are honoring the 20-year anniversary of the “Curse Breakers”, and the product on the team is going to be so far from that team, that many fans are considering boycotting this summer. It feels like since the Betts trade, this team is a shell of its former self. Can this team do anything to return to its former glory, especially with Netflix following them for the summer? The fan in me says “Hell yes!”, the realist in me says “Not a chance in hell.”

With that said, as a Sox fan since 1990 (listening to the Sox on the radio, in my grandpa’s garage all summer long as toddler) I feel compelled to still support this team, until the day I die, like my grandfather before me.

Breaking down the probable Opening Day Starters:

C: Conner Wong, 27-year-old right-hander split time last season with Reese McGuire, however, his athleticism and quick arm behind the plate seemed to have solidified his starter status behind the plate for the Sox. I expect Conner to continue growing as a catcher, and hitter. He’s no Varitek, but he’ll do.  

2023 Stats:

AVG: .235    RBI: 36           HR: 9 OPS: .673

1B: Triston Casas, 24-year-old left-handed hitter, cemented himself as the starting First Baseman last season, having a stellar freshman campaign and was in the thick of the ROTY conversation almost all season, until he injured his shoulder. Casas is a young, tall player that can stretch the bag when needed and can hit. If he can rebound from his injury nicely, he should make a nice clean-up hitter all season. He loves playing in Boston and will hopefully be here for the long haul.

2023 Stats:

AVG: .263   RBI: 65            HR: 24              OPS: .856

“I want to be here forever,” Casas added. “This is not a bad place to play. It’s actually the best, I think, so I’d love to be here.”

Triston Casas, on his agent reaching out to the Red Sox to get a contract extension

2B: Enmanuel Valdez, 25-year-old left-handed hitter. He is another player who was a rookie last season. He looks to improve on his 7 errors with a .973 fielding percentage in 47 games. He has a decent bat, and makes the pitchers come to him. The plan is to have Vaughn Grissom as the starter; however, a groin injury has derailed him from the Opening Day roster. Once Grissom returns, Valdez will likely be slotted into the backup role. It’ll be an interesting season at second base watching Valdez grow.

2023 Stats:

AVG: .266 RBI: 19 HR: 6    OPS: .764

SS: Trevor Story, 31-year-old right-handed hitter who has yet to make the splash in Boston that we all expected when he came here from Colorado. Injuries have been a big issue for him. If healthy, this season we can hope the 2x Silver Slugger resumes the hitting he was capable of in Colorado. Only playing 157 games in two seasons with the Red Sox has really ruined his sample size for judging where he can go from here. Starting his 9th season in the league, he may not have long time left in Boston.

2023 Stats:

AVG: .203   RBI: 14            HR: 3    OPS: .566 (47 games)

3B: Rafeal Devers, 27-year-old right-handed hitter, that the Sox have chosen to build their team around. Devers is the last remaining player from the 2018 World Series winning Club. Devers has been very vocal this offseason about the state of the team. He is aware of what this team needs, and a good part of that is he himself improving his fielding. We look forward to Devers “righting the ship” so to speak.

2023 Stats:

AVG: .271   RBI: 100         HR: 33              OPS: .851

“Everybody knows what we need. You know what we need, and they know what we need,” Devers noted. “It’s just some things that I can’t say out loud, but everybody that knows the organization and knows the game knows what we need.”

Rafael Devers, appearing to call out the Front Office during the winter interviews

LF: Jarren Duran, 27-year-old left-handed hitter, was having a breakout season when it was cut short due to injury. Duran looks to continue to build on last season, he’ll get the nod on opening day at left field. Personally, I feel we are a better team when Duran is in the lineup, and the numbers were indicative of that opinion all last season.

2023 Stats:

AVG: .295   RBI: 40            HR: 8    OPS: .828 (100 games)

CF: Ceddanne Rafaela, 23-year-old right-handed hitter will be getting the nod to start the season. Playing just 28 games last season, he showed flashes of a great future in Boston. If Rafaela can continue to grow, look for him to be a lock in Center field for years to come. He has been compared to Ken Griffey Jr. and those are some pretty damn big shoes to fill.

2023 Stats:

AVG: .231   RBI: 5  HR: 2    OPS: .666 (28 games)

RF: Tyler O’Neil, 28-year-old right-handed hitter will be in his first season in Boston after spending time in St. Louis with the Cardinals.

2023 Stats:

AVG: .231   RBI: 21            HR: 9    OPS: .715 (71 games)

DH: Masataka Yoshida, 30-year-old left-handed hitter who is entering his second season with the Sox. He was in talks for Rookie of the Year for a good chunk of the 2023 before falling off towards the end of the season. It will be a big plus for this lineup if he can continue the 2024 on a hot streak consistently.

2 home runs, and 6 RBIs IN ONE INNING

2023 Stats:

AVG: .289 RBI: 72 HR: 15              OPS: .783

SP: Brayan Bello, 24-year-old right-handed pitcher has been compared to Pedro Martinez, and this season would be the best time for him to kick that comparison into high gear. With Chris Sale going to Atlanta and Corey Kluber retiring, Bello was the easy decision choice for Cora to be the Opening Day Starter.

2023 Stats:

W/L: 12-11   IP: 157    ERA: 4.24           K: 132            BB: 45

I think Red Sox fans need to keep in mind that this IS a young team, and they are going to make mistakes. Personally, I don’t have high expectations for this season with the pitching staff being the way it is, but this team does have the potential to win games with their bats. I can see a lot of high scoring games in the team’s future. Kenley Jansen is going to get a lot of work this season closing the door on 6-5 games.

Best Case Scenario: 88-74 3rd in the AL East, 7th Wild Card Spot

The team meshes as a dark horse, they must perform good for Netflix after all because as Devers said in the off season, and I’m paraphrasing here, (full quote below) Nobody wants to watch a loser. Devers figures out his defensive woes and wins MVP for the season. Casas and Yoshida win Silver Slugger Awards. Story wins a Gold Glove. Sox pull off an epic run in October and beat the Atlanta Braves, and Chris Sale in Game 7 of the World Series…….and then we all wake up from our dream and remember it’s still March.

“Nobody wants to be on Netflix as a losing team,” third baseman Rafael Devers told reporters. “That’s a bad look.”

Devers on Netflix following the team for the 2024 season

Worst Case Scenario: 44-118 Last in AL East AND MLB

John Henry looks like a schmuck for not opening his wallet and helping the talent that is on this roster, alienating fans and players alike. The Fenway faithful will riot in the streets, forcing John Henry to look to sell the team. Devers, Casas and Yoshida are traded at the deadline for a box of unfinished bats, and a third base from my childhood ball diamond in Ware, Massachusetts.

Most likely Scenario: 81-81 5th in AL East

The Red Sox are going to win a lot of games behind their bats. The pitching, as suspect as it is right now, could come together and go off and combine for a good enough rotation to win a few more games. A 500 finish would be the goal for Alex Cora in his last contracted season as the skipper for this team. John Henry must do something. Sell the team if you aren’t willing to spend the money. Red Sox fans are too loyal, and too outspoken to deal with another 86-year drought. At 35, I’ve been spoiled as fuck, and I don’t want that to end.

Here is the final out of the 2004 World Series, Red Sox Breaking the Curse.

I was 16 years old. This was the first time, I ever cried over professional sports.




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