Alex Cora is confident he and his charges will rebound quickly.
The Boston Red Sox manager explained to Sirius XM MLB Radio on Friday why he believes the team will return to playoff — and perhaps World Series — contention next season. With the Red Sox all but out of the running for a Wild Card spot this season, Cora lamented factors that prevented the team from damaging opponents as it did so effectively in 2018.
“We weren’t able to do things that we like to do, like hit-and-runs and steal bases, because of scores and the lineup configurations,” Cora said. “That’s on us to talk about it in the offseason. How can we maximize a great lineup? We have a great lineup, we feel that we can do better and get back to those few things. We have to see if this is the order we like: Mookie (Betts), (Rafael) Devers, Xander (Bogaerts). Or we can switch it, so we can be more aggressive.
“That’s the cool thing about it. It’s not fun to back home early, but at the same time you start looking ahead and you’re like ‘OK, you know what? We’re not that far off, either.’ I know in the standings it looked that way, but we have a great group and we’re not that far off.”
While Cora didn’t mention the pitching woes Boston endured this season, he makes a good point about the team’s potential for success at the plate.
The Red Sox jumped from a 93-win team to an 108-win team between 2017 and 2018. Although they can win just a maximum of 90 games this season, recent history suggests another powerful swing in the right direction could be afoot next year.
Thumbnail photo via Jake Roth/USA TODAY Sports Images