The Boston Red Sox boast the third-best offense in baseball. So, why are they currently six games out of a Wild Card spot?
You can blame the starting rotation, which owns a collective 5.05 ERA and sustained another blow this week when ace Chris Sale received a PRP injection in his left elbow that likely will sideline him for the rest of the 2019 season.
Sale joined Nathan Eovaldi and David Price among Red Sox starters who have battled injuries this season. As it turns out, all three pitchers logged fewer than 10 innings in spring training, as the Sox opted to play it safe with their starters following a run to the 2018 World Series.
In an interview Wednesday on WEEI's "Dale & Keefe," president of baseball operations admitted Boston may change that approach in 2020 based on how things played out this year.
"In the beginning of spring, we were being careful with (Sale), but he also had a little bit of a problem with his toe, so we were trying to be careful with that," Dombrowski said. "We were in a spot where David Price has come off pitching a lot in the postseason (and) Eovaldi. But I think in a situation that — it’ll definitely be something at we reassess going into next year, I’ll guarantee that part of it."
Sale, Price and Eovaldi all struggled out of the gate after their light spring training workloads, with Eovaldi hitting the 60-day disabled list less than a month into the season.
So, will Boston's starters be more involved in 2020 spring training if they're fully healthy? Dombrowski suggested that's a possibility while insisting pitchers must be handled with care.
"You always have to be careful with pitchers," Dombrowski said. "Because I think it’s proven that if a pitcher is tired, they’re more apt to be susceptible to injury.
"... One of the things we had talked about is being in a situation where we tried to prevent injuries, which is really the thought process there. But guys still got hurt. … I think all in all, it’ll be something that we’ll sit back and assess, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we go into next spring a little bit different."
Add that to the list of several things the Red Sox must do differently in 2020 to return to championship form.
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