We’re six games into the Boston Red Sox season, and more often than not, the starting pitcher has delivered a dud.
Boston’s rotation so far has gotten shelled by the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics, and given the starting pitching was considered an area of strength entering the year, many tried to put their finger on what the issue has been.
Understandably, some looked at the only change to the Sox battery from last season, which is the absence of Sandy Leon. One of the better defensive catchers (and arguably the best game caller) in the game, Leon was the odd man out in the spring training roster battle with Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart — a move he handled with grace.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora was asked about the theory Wednesday in his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria,” and he pretty much debunked the notion.
“I mean, we’ve got two catchers, two capable catchers,” Cora said. “I don’t think Sandy or Christian or Blake had to do with missed location. If you look back at the tape of Nate (Eovaldi) and then Rick (Porcello) in Seattle, the one with (Eduardo Rodriguez) — the walk to (Jay) Bruce, the base hit by (Dee) Gordon and the home run by Bruce later on, I don’t think that has to do with the catcher, I think it’s execution. If you ask Nate and if you ask Porcello, you look back and they left a lot of pitches right in the middle, and when that happens people are going to take advantage of it.
“We live in an era that when you make mistakes it’s not a double in the gap, it’s a home run,” Cora added. “People are swinging for the fences, they’ve got their A-swing the whole at-bat, and they’re taking advantage of it. But no, I don’t think (the catching) has to do with what’s going on right now.”
Of course, we’re six games into the season, so outright admitting the catching is a disaster wouldn’t be a responsible move by Cora, so make of that what you will.
Either way, the Red Sox need their starting pitching to come around, as well as their non-existent offense, regardless of who’s behind the plate.