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Red Sox Opening Day 2024

March 28, 2024 will be the first day of the Red Sox 2024 season with an opening series away from home in Safeco Field on Seattle. The Mariners are coming off an 88-74 season where they narrowly missed a playoff spot; they will be trying to take that small step to secure one of those spots this year with their ace Luis Castillo set to take the mound. For the hometown, we will trot out Brayan Bello on starting day as our "ace". After a 78-84 season just a year ago, the Red Sox do not seem to be any better of a team going into this season, but that may not be there biggest problem.


On such a glorious day for baseball fans around the world, it leaves a sour taste in my mouth to be pessimistic and doubtful about this season but I must. Besides the overall lower-quality of the team this year compared to teams of the past 2 decades, but the injuries that we have already sustained throughout spring training that make some believe a last place AL East standing is in our future.


When the Sox take the field tonight their lineup will be as follows:


C - Colton Wong

1B - Tristan Casas

2B - Emmanuel Valdez

3B - Rafael Devers

SS - Trevor Story

LF - Masataka Yoshida

CF - Jarren Duran

RF - Tyler O'Neil

SP - Brayan Bello


Hitting


While the lineup sheet isn't in place yet, Devers, Casas and Yoshida will probably make up the heart of the order while Story will likely be the leadoff against the Mariners' righty Castillo. Durran and Yoshida are coming off very promising rookie campaigns and will look to bring back the dynamic outfield group the Sox have vbeen known for over the past decade with great names like Betts, Martinez, Benintendi, Bradley and so on. Rafi Devers is entering the first year of his 10 year-$313.5 million contract and will look to be the go-to hitter on this team. Trevor Story seems to be heading for his best season as a Red Sox after a stellar Spring Training batting .380 with 3 Home Runs.

This rule applies to every team every year but the Red Sox depth will truly be the deciding factor this season. With less than a few bench utility players, (mainly just Pablo Reyes, Bobby Dalbec and Rob Refsnyder) and an already depleted pitching staff, especially relievers, Alex Cora will need to have a gameplan to rest players and not risky any to further injuries or this season could get out hand quickly.


Pitching

This may be the worst pitching staff the Red Sox have had since I was alive, (26 years.) Without Giolito in the rotation, the reigns have been given to Brayan Bello, who inked a 6 year-$55 million deal before his age-24 season started. While his development has been good, this year should have been the final year for him to ease into a potential-ace role instead of "throwing him to the wolves this early. Bello had a better 2023 season than his rookie year ending with a 4.24 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP and will look to further progress these numbers this season. Other starters are Nick Pivetta, Tanner Houck, Garrett Whitlock and Kutter Crawford. All of these pitchers including Bello had ERA's of 4.0-5.04 last season.

The bullpen is where the Red Sox will truly be lacking this season, with pitchers including Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin Josh Winckowski and Chase Anderson "headlining" the group. Bleacher Report has ranked their pitching staff 23rd in the Majors before Fulmer's injury. Jansen is a quality closer but will likely not get 40 Save Attempts with teams likely to either blow up one of our starters or chase relievers after less than an inning pitched.

On the bright side... Chris Sale seems to be doing better this season with the Braves. Just our luck.


Injuries

SO FAR on our injury list is Lucas Giolito, Michael Fulmer, Chris Murphy and Liam Hendricks out for season. Vaughn Grissom and Rob Refsnyder will be out for the first month of the season at least and Bryan Mata will miss the first week or two.

Once Grissom comes back and is inserted in our lineup we will actually have a solid starting infield with another quality bench player in Valdez. Add Refsnyder and this team will have platoon hitting and players that can substitute in at infield or outfield. We don't have the superstar-stacked lineup like years past but we will have quality depth in our lineup.

This team will need to add both starting pitching and relief pitching in Free Agency however and with a Red Sox-low payroll of $180 million we have the capacity to do so if the front office is willing to pull the trigger.


Overall this team has the ability to be competitive this season with the right moves made within the roster and outside of it. If Bello takes the right steps forward we could be looking at a good-to-decent rotation or a catastrophe if he doesn't. This can be marked as a rebuilding year but unfortunately for the Red Sox management, Boston fans are not the most patient bunch.

Some people have said Alex Cora is on the hot seat and an abysmal start to the season plus no extra free agent moves or trades being made could see his name being chopped by May-June.

Everybody let's buckle up and get ready for a most interesting season ahead of us.



Check out fansonlysportz.com for more sports media content posted every day.


Make sure to stay tuned as we continue coverage of the 2024 Red Sox season.


-Z.D.



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