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Are the Red Sox Ready to Win?

The+Red+Sox+hope+for+more+celebrations+like+this+in+2016.
The Red Sox hope for more celebrations like this in 2016.

The Red Sox hope for more celebrations like this in 2016.

(TNS w/permission)

(TNS w/permission)

The Red Sox hope for more celebrations like this in 2016.

Jake Snyder, Staff Writer

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For 2016, the Red Sox look to return to the postseason and look poised to do so. By making important additions to the bullpen (Craig Kimbrel and Carson Smith) and starting rotation (David Price), the Red Sox are showing that they are ready to break their two year slump.

Starting pitching is where Boston has struggled the most. The team went into the 2015 season flaunting an “ace-less rotation,” only to end up 25th in team ERA, letting up an average of 4.31 runs per game. By signing David Price to a record seven-year, $217 million deal, the Red Sox add a bona fide ace to the team and they will look to Price to set the standard for the rest of the rotation.

The team did well in spring training. Standout players include Joe Kelly, who went 3-0 with a 1.35 ERA, and Travis Shaw, who batted .367 with two homeruns and nine RBIs. Kelly looks to have secured his spot in the starting rotation, while Shaw, in a somewhat surprising move, has secured the starting position at third base over Pablo Sandoval. Shaw is young and playing well at the moment, but Sandoval, despite a disappointing first season, has a history of success as shown by his three World Series rings. Perhaps manager John Farrell, returning after undergoing cancer treatment last year, and under pressure to succeed under new boss Dave Dombrowski and (Abington’s own) GM Mike Hazen, wants to get out to a decisive and assertive start.

I bought tickets so they’ll want to impress me.”

— Derek Gately

In order for the Red Sox to have success this season, the most important thing will be staying healthy. If pitchers Clay Buchholz and Eduardo Rodriguez can stay off the disabled list, then Boston’s rotation (including Price, Rick Porcello and Steven Wright) can go toe to toe with any team in the league.  (According to the Boston Herald, Rodriquez needs more time to recover from his pre-season knee injury. He has been placed on the 15-day disabled list to start the season.)

Boston’s young core, Xander Bogaerts, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr., will look to carry the team, continuing their strong play at the end of last season. On the opposite end of the spectrum, 40-year-old slugger David Ortiz will be retiring after the 2016 season, and if the Red Sox make it to the playoffs, Boston can expect some final Ortiz magic.

Rounding out the opening day lineup, on April 4 versus the Cleveland Indians, is second baseman and team leader Dustin Pedroia, fan favorite and all-star Brock Holt (beating out Rusney Castillo) in left, young Blake Swihart behind the plate (backed up by veteran Ryan Hannigan) and transplant Hanley Ramirez taking over at first.

AHS senior Derek Gately expects a strong season for the Red Sox and will even be attending a game this season. “I think they’ll do great this year,” says Gately, “I bought tickets so they’ll want to impress me.” Let’s hope the Red Sox can bounce back and not let Derek, and Boston, down.

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