The Boston Red Sox endured a month from hell to begin the 2019 MLB season, but at the end of the (April) day(s), it’s still just that: only one month.
As the rain-soaked calendar flips to May, the Red Sox are starting to show signs of life. They’ll try to sweep away the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday before going out on a seven-game road trip against the sub-.500 Chicago White Sox and historically bad Baltimore Orioles. All is not lost — yet.
That point of view apparently is shared among executives across the league, as a recent front-office poll on MLB.com surveyed a handful of the sport’s power brokers who still believe Boston can right the ship. Of the 25 executives polled, nearly all of them thought the Red Sox would at least hang around and contend for a playoff spot. More specifically, 12 predicted the Sox will win the wild card, and another believes the Red Sox will storm all the way back and beat out the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays for the American League East title.
“They have too much talent to not get really hot at some point,” an NL executive told MLB.com, while an AL executive isn’t ruling out another deep playoff run for the defending World Series champions.
“If they can find their way into the Wild Card game, they have a chance,” he said.
Of course, the majority of the executives also pointed to the Red Sox’s struggles as the biggest surprise of the season’s first full month. But it’s also easy to see a path to redemption for Alex Cora’s club. The starting pitching has gotten better (admittedly not a high hurdle to clear), posting the AL’s second-best ERA in the last 17 games, while the offense is starting to slowly come around behind the remarkable consistency of J.D. Martinez and the recent surge from defending AL MVP Mookie Betts.
There is still a lot of work to be done, but it sounds like there won’t be much shock if the Sox go on a run and get back into the hunt before the summer comes to an end.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images