Boston Red Sox: Which Starter’s Rotation Spot is Jeopardy?


The Red Sox were blown out by the Tigers on Thursday afternoon, the offense is continuing to struggle at the plate. During the Red Sox’ 8-1 loss, the offense was 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. 

The offense has been putrid since the trade deadline. According to Chris Cotillo of MassLive, the Red Sox rank dead last in the majors with a runner on third base and less than two outs. Boston is hitting .236 with that aforementioned stat, which is not ideal during the team’s skid. 

While the offense is scuffling, the bats are not a long term concern for manager Alex Cora. The starting pitching has been difficult to watch outside of Nathan Eovaldi and Nick Pivetta. 

Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez, Garrett Richards and Martin Perez have struggled this season. Rodriguez rebounded on the mound for the team’s only win of the series against the Tigers. In Wednesday’s 4-1 win over in MoTown, he struck out a season-high 10 batters over five shutout innings. 

“My fastball -- I think that’s what I had working today (Wednesday),” Rodriguez said. “I was (able) to locate that fastball pretty good on top of the strike zone and I was taking advantage because they were chasing it.”

The Red Sox will hope Rodriguez can build off that start and begin to get consistency over each start he makes as the season continues on. 

Richards or Perez?

Richards and Perez are the Achilles heels within the rotation. On Tuesday, Richards went four innings in the 4-2 loss to open the series. Richards gave up five hits, three runs, struck out five and walked two batters.

The right-hander is not performing on the mound and he told that to the media on Tuesday. “It’s frustrating,” Richards said. “This has been the worst year of my career. Just trying to find a way to give us a chance to win every night and take steps forward.”

Since the month of June, Richards owns a 6.66 ERA, Boston is 6-5 during his last eleven starts. The ERA is a concern, his 1.66 WHIP is also a concern. If the postseason was to begin tomorrow, Richards should not pitch a meaningful inning during the playoffs. 

With Chris Sale inching closer to returning to the rotation, Perez could be the ultimate odd man out despite Richards struggles. The south-paw owns a 6.69 ERA since June 3 and his fastball command has been a problem. 

Perez surrendered three runs on five hits and no walks while striking out two across 1.1 innings. The lefty saw his record drop to 7-8 on the season and his ERA rose to 4.77 and his WHIP is at 1.52. 

Perez has been struggling to locate his fastball and opposing hitters are making him pay. The Red Sox cannot wait around for Perez to figure it out and once Sale is ready to contribute Perez will probably be the odd man out. 

Time for a Sense of Urgency

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom never addressed the rotation at the trade deadline. The Red Sox have Sale coming back, Tanner Houck is another internal option and might replace Richards soon. It’s not time to hit the panic button in Boston, but its time for the Red Sox to play with a sense of urgency. 

Boston will play with Blue Jays on the road in critical three game series. Boston needs to take two-of-three against the Jays this weekend, if not they’re in real trouble. 

Follow Chris on Twitter @chrishenrique

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Boston Red Sox: Which Starter’s Rotation Spot is Jeopardy?
Boston Red Sox: Which Starter’s Rotation Spot is Jeopardy?
Boston Sports Syndicate
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