Jackie Bradley, Xander Bogarts, Brock Holt, Brandon Workman, Rubby DeLaRosa: the future. Jake Peavy, Chris Capuano, Edward Mujica, Felix Dubront, David Ross, A.J, Pierczinski: the past. With the right combination of youth and experience, the Red Sox were World Champions in 2013. With the past overtaking the future, they are in an agonizing tailspin.
At this point we can say the Red Sox are in transition, and it is time to bring on the future. Whether it is too late to contend in the American League East is still open to conjecture, but the retreads the Sox have brought in to make the transition are thin with wear. Bring on the future.
The Red Sox began courting the future in 2013 when they brought up Brandon Workman and Xander Bogarts for the stretch run. Actually Workman was a sub in the pitching rotation earlier, but he pitched with confidence and aggression from the start. He came up attacking the strike zone and has proven himself as a Major Leaguer since then. Bogarts took no one by surprise, but he showed amazing poise in the post-season. The Red Sox did not shy from using both of these young talents in the World Series.
This year they committed to Jackie Bradley, despite his weak hitting, and when the hitting began to gel, sent Grady Sizemore packing. Brock Holt is going to displace either Daniel Nava or Will Middlebrooks, because he is the answer to the lead-off question. Holt has improved every time he came up from Pawtucket and finally proved he was indispensable. Rubby DeLaRosa finally proved he could control his awesome stuff and looks like he might stay with parent club this time. Every one of these players might be languishing in Pawtucket, if the Red Sox were dazzling the American League East, but they have been utterly beatable in the first half of the season.
So 2014 has become the transition year both for the Sox and their young talent. They might even consider bringing up one of their young catchers and let one of the old guys prepare them for the big time. Both Ross and Pierczinsky are liabilities at the plate, but could mentor a young catcher to take over in 2015.
To make room for Workman and DelaRosa, the Sox could send Dubront to the bullpen, release Peavy and give Bucholz one more chance at the rotation. Bucholz deserves a chance to pitch healthy to see if he can return to his 2013 form. Peavy’s skills are in decline. The chances of his rebounding from his dismal start are slim to none.
So bring on the future. Let’s give the new Red Sox a chance to develop and see what happens. How much worse could it be?