There’s a lot to be excited about in the upcoming Boston Red Sox season.
Boston kicks off its season Friday afternoon as the team heads to New York to face the Yankees on Opening Day. The two sides originally were set to open the new campaign Thursday, but inclement weather forced the game to be postponed a day.
The Red Sox are looking to follow a season when they made it to the American League Championship Series and were just two games from going to the World Series.
Here are the reasons we came up with to be excited about the 2022 Red Sox season.
First season of Trevor Story
After signing a six-year, $140 million deal, Story will be the second baseman for the Red Sox in 2022. The two-time Silver Slugger bolsters an already-strong Red sox lineup that could be argued as a top-10 offense in Major League Baseball. Story has totaled 35 or more home runs twice in his career while also totaling at least 20 stolen bases in three seasons. His plus-fielding ability may only get better with his switch to second as well.
The dual-threat second baseman can be a game-changer for the Red Sox and it will be a welcome sight for fans to watch him launch baseballs out of Fenway Park in 2022 and beyond.
Continued development for Tanner Houck and Garrett Whitlock
Houck is locked into the starting rotation to kick off the season. The 25-year-old’s stuff passes the eye test to be a long-term option for the Red Sox as long as he can put it together. Following another offseason of working on his third pitch and learning to combine his pitches more, 2022 can be Houck’s best season to date. Having a guaranteed spot in the rotation should help him too after shifting between the majors and Triple-A along with the rotation and bullpen nonstop last season.
What can a dialed-in Whitlock do this season? With fewer restrictions expected and a motion to stretch out Whitlock for potential starts later in the season, all signs point to the breakout star of the 2021 Red Sox having another big year. The right-handed pitcher was one of the best in all of baseball last season, going 8-4 with a 1.96 ERA and two saves, becoming the ultimate weapon for Boston. Whitlock did this despite being limited in his usage in 2021, meaning a season with the training wheels off could lead to more domination from him in 2022.
Building on 2021 ALCS appearance
Expectations are reasonably high for the Red Sox heading into the 2022 season after the ALCS appearance where they fell to the Houston Astros 4-2 in the series. High expectations can be scary but they’re just as exciting. After retooling this offseason by adding Story, Michael Wacha, Rich Hill, and Jackie Bradley Jr. among others, Boston is ready to make another splash with the World Series in sight.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora’s first season back in the fold from suspension saw a team with lower expectations going on to surpass them in every way imaginable. Boston is loaded with one of the best lineups in baseball, a rotation that should only get better throughout the season with the return of Chris Sale and a bullpen — though facing questions — boasts pitchers that have potential to impress.
The 2022 season could be a special year for the Red Sox.