The Boston Red Sox concluded their 2023 MLB season the same way the 2022 campaign ended — dead last in the American League East and six games below .500.

But despite the record and standings, the Red Sox did have some bright spots over the course of 162 games, including late-season prospect call-ups and the return of shortstop Trevor Story.

“I think with Trevor at shortstop, playing every day you see the difference, right?” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said at Boston’s end-of-season press conference at Fenway Park on Monday. “I think Trevor at short, helps (Rafael Devers) at third base. We made some subtle adjustments as far as our defensive alignment too toward the end and it felt good.

“I think up the middle (of the field), we’re going to be solid. Trevor staying healthy, he’s a game-changer. He’s elite. … We’ll attack the offseason, decide what we’re going to do at second and obviously Raffy is gonna play third base.”

Story continues below advertisement

No Matchup Found

Click here to enter a different Sportradar ID.

Boston had several players platooning at second base throughout the season including Pablo Reyes, Luis Urías and Enmanuel Valdez but both Cora and Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy agree that starting pitching is an area the organization has to address in the offseason.

    What do you think?  Leave a comment.

“Obviously, this game is about pitching at the end of the day,” Kennedy said. “We need to improve in that area. … We’ll attack it all in the offseason.”

Cora agreed with Kennedy but added another area the team needed to be better in.

Story continues below advertisement

“To win championships, you have to pitch. That’s the bottom line,” Cora said. “We haven’t been able to get to that point yet. I think the last time we had a healthy rotation was in ’21. … We have to pitch better. That’s important, but at the same time, we have to play better defense.”

Cora added some of the younger players would be reporting to Fort Myers during the offseason to work on their craft defensively and offensively and others would be doing the same at the Red Sox’s facility in the Dominican Republic.

“We’ve been meeting with the players individually and they know what the offseason is gonna look like,” Cora said. “… There’s a lot of stuff that we’re going to do that I think is needed in this offseason. I think we got some guys that they’re gonna impact the big league roster next year, they’re young players and we have to guide them through the offseason and help them out. There’s specific stuff we want them to do.”

Cora added that it’s not just the players that will have an impact on the Red Sox next season.

Story continues below advertisement

“The way we talk about it today, us as a coaching staff, we got to get better,” Cora said. “We got to push these guys to be a lot better and it’s on us to do this in the offseason. Do that in spring training and do it throughout the season next year. That’s my challenge this year. Me and the coaching staff we have to be better.”

Kennedy said any potential offseason moves doesn’t mean the Red Sox are all in when it comes to the 2024 season.

“I don’t really even know how to define all in,” Kennedy said. “Maybe it’s just because, on the inside, we feel like we’re all in every year in terms of the work and the preparation and the commitment and the dedication. So I feel like we’re all in from that perspective each and every year.”

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images