Minnesota Twins

What could things look like for Red Sox if MLB realigns divisions in 2020?

What could things look like for Red Sox if MLB realigns divisions in 2020?

Major League Baseball is discussing various scenarios as to how they can salvage the 2020 season. One of those ideas is to realign the divisions around spring training facilities, according to USA Today's Bob Nightengale.

This would mean teams who have spring training in Florida will compete against other teams in Florida with the same going for organizations in Arizona. 

The division shakeup could be a breath of fresh air for baseball fans, but how could things shake out for the Boston Red Sox in their new division? We decided to take a look at the proposed Grapefruit League South Division and rank where we think the teams will place. Considering we won't know how many games will be played, we'll rank the teams without including their records.

Red Sox' Martin Perez notches seven strikeouts in spring start vs. Twins

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AP photo

Red Sox' Martin Perez notches seven strikeouts in spring start vs. Twins

The current state of the Boston Red Sox rotation doesn't do much to inspire confidence from fans heading into 2020. But newcomer Martin Perez provided some reason for optimism on Sunday.

The left-hander took the mound against his former team, the Minnesota Twins, and was impressive. Perez struck out seven in four shutout innings of work while allowing four hits and walking one batter.

Watch Perez's seven K's below:


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It was a bounce-back performance for Perez, who struggled Tuesday vs. the New York Yankees allowing six runs on four hits and a walk.

With ace Chris Sale set to be placed on the injured list, Perez presumably will be Boston's No. 3 starter when the regular season gets underway. Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi will precede him, but the No. 4 and 5 spots in the rotation remain up in the air.

Perez went 10-7 with a 5.12 ERA in 29 starts with Minnesota in 2019.

Why Martin Perez's ex-manager believes Red Sox pitcher will have strong season

Why Martin Perez's ex-manager believes Red Sox pitcher will have strong season

The Boston Red Sox need Martin Perez to be good at his job in 2020.

His former boss believes he's up to the task.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli spoke glowingly this week of Perez, who spent the 2019 season in Minnesota before the Red Sox signed him to a one-year, $6 million contract in December.

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“Martin did a nice job for us,” Baldelli said, via Mass Live's Chris Cotillo. “He pitched us to opportunities to win games consistently. He competed very well. He was very open to making adjustments. And he’s a really good teammate. There’s really not much more you could ask for."

Perez's numbers suggest a slightly different story: The Venezuela native posted a 5.12 ERA and 1.518 WHIP in 2019 and allowed four or more runs in 12 of his 29 starts.

But Baldelli believes Perez suffered from some bad luck last season and predicted a bounce-back campaign for the 28-year-old.

"If he continues to do what he has been doing and continues to make the adjustments he has been making, I would anticipate a very nice season," Baldelli said.

"I don’t have all the numbers in front of me but the stuff was really good. He came out of the chute last year throwing the ball pretty incredibly. But I think he’s also still figuring out what he’s capable of and what his strengths are. When he takes advantage of those strengths, he’s certainly going to give his team a chance to win."

Perez did average a career-high 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings last season after adding a cutter to his arsenal and pitched at least six full innings in 15 starts.

The Red Sox will need Perez to eat up innings as their fourth starter after losing David Price and Rick Porcello this offseason. If he lives up to Baldelli's billing, he'll provide much-needed stability to a rotation that's unsettled behind top three starters Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez and Nathan Eovaldi.