Red Sox Midseason Report Card
Last year the Red Sox sent five players to the All-Star festivities. This year they sent only one. Perhaps it’s a much needed break for the struggling Sox who are 43-43 at the break, but they’ll need a strong second half of the season to make a playoff run. So with a few days off before Boston gets back to action, let’s take a look at some of the individual performances thus far.
Jarrod Saltalamacchia | B+: Filling Jason Varitek’s role as catcher for the Red Sox is not an easy task. Tek wasn’t the greatest hitter, but his presence around the team, as the captain, was a huge part of their demeanor. Not only is Saltalamacchia a great teammate, he’s also done a superb job contributing to the offense this year. On Friday night he hit his 17th home run of the season, a career-high, and continues to show much improvement from last year. The downside is he leads the team with 72 strikeouts.
Adrian Gonzalez | C: Regardless of what team he is on, one thing that won’t change is the fact that Gonzo is a great hitter. However, that doesn’t mean he’s having a great season. Gonzalez is batting just .283, despite his team-leading 96 hits. And what happen to the Gonzo that was supposed to “crush” home runs in Fenway Park ? Last year he finished with 27 – he has six thus far this year. You could count on him to get on base but he needs to step up his game in major ways, especially during clutch moments.
Dustin Pedroia | B-: Pedroia’s numbers are on a bit of a decline this season but that could be in part to a lingering injury or just due to the character of this year’s Red Sox team. Yet, he is one of the few players in the league that gives 110% every night regardless of the circumstances. Expect him to have a bigger impact once he gets off the disabled list.
Mike Aviles | B: Aviles has been one of the most consistent players in the Red Sox lineup this season. Here’s a guy you don’t really expect much from but he’s been continuously producing through Boston ’s struggles and showing his value – varying from second, third and shortstop when needed. Aviles has 85 hits, 44 RBIs and nine home runs, nevertheless continues to fly under-the-radar which might be a benefit to the Sox in the second half of the season.
Will Middlebrooks| B: Middlebrooks shined in the minor leagues, and when he got his chance he did the same in the majors. The third baseman had such an impact in Boston that they traded away Kevin Youkilis. But of course, like most of the other Red Sox players, Middlebrooks has recently seen some time out of the lineup due to an illness. Anyway, he’s played in 48 MLB games and has 51 hits, 37 RBIs and ten home runs. Like Pedroia, when Middlebrooks is healthy -- which should be right after the All-Star break -- expect him to continue showcasing his talent.
David Ortiz | A+: Many times in sports -- baseball especially -- stats could be very deceiving. But in the case of David Ortiz, his stats this year do all the talking for him. Ortiz leads the Red Sox in basically every category – 62 runs, 96 hits (tied with Gonzo), 22 HRs, 57 RBIs and he has been walked 51 times. Not only did Big Papi have an outstanding first half of the season, he’s also defended his team through criticism from the media, rightfully so. It’s obvious why he is the lone Red Sox All-Star this year.
Cody Ross | B: Ross, Middlebrooks and Aviles are all on the same boat. Ross has played 56 games yet is ranked third on the team with 13 home runs. He also has 40 RBIs and a .345 OBP. Due to the various injuries, Ross has stepped up -- playing every position in the outfield when needed -- and done a great job trying to keep the Red Sox relevant.
Notes: According to reports, Jacoby Ellsbury will be working out at Fenway Park during the All-Star break with hopes to get back on Boston’s roster soon. Carl Crawford will continue rehabbing with Pawtucket.
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