As far as 2019 goes, the Red Sox season is over. Yeah, they’re nine back with 13 to go, so mathematically they aren’t out of it. But I think it’s safe to assume that this team isn’t going back to the playoffs. I could sit here all day and type out what went wrong this season. Instead, let’s use this time to discuss some positive aspects. The Red Sox will be back with a chip on their shoulder in 2020. Who might be some of the players with the biggest chips on their shoulders after a lackluster 2019 season? Let’s dive right into the Red Sox players who could have a bounce-back season in 2020.
Red Sox left fielder Andrew Benintendi has not had his best season with the club in 2019. Offensively, Benintendi is hitting .272 on the season. But it isn’t the .272 that you open your eyes and say “Wow, that’s a good average with all of his production!” The production hasn’t been there like in years past. He’s hit only 13 home runs and 68 RBI’s on the season with a .793 OPS. Remember, last season Benintendi was almost voted in as the final man on the American League All-Star team. We know what Benintendi can do, especially in the field. If anybody forgot about that, here’s your daily reminder of what the outfielder can do in a key situation.
I wouldn’t be worried about Benintendi in the field. When he gets hot, he is a solid two hitter in this Red Sox lineup. Something tells me that Benintendi is going to make good adjustments in the off-season and come into 2020 on a mission.
Obviously, we don’t know what is going on with Chris Sale for next season. Will he pitch? Will he be sidelined? How long would he be sidelined in 2020? While these are all legitimate questions, something tells me that Sale will be back in 2020. This was Sale’s first losing season since 2013, where he went 11-14 with the Chicago White Sox. The only difference between 2013 and 2019? Sale had a 3.07 ERA in 2013, where as in 2019 Sale’s ERA is a career worst 4.40. We all know about the location issues, as well as the decreasing velocity. But with rest and proper training in the off-season, Sale should be back with a vengeance in 2020. Sale is way too good of a pitcher to have two bad seasons in a row. Keep a close eye on the lefty when the 2020 season approaches.
This one you might look at and be saying, “Al, what are you even thinking here?” Remember, Ryan Brasier was a key piece of the Red Sox bullpen in the home stretch of the 2018 season and in the playoffs. Obviously, he had his issues this season with being sent down to the Minors, and then coming back up eventually. Brasier has good velocity with a decent breaking ball to compliment it. His whole thing is limiting walks and keeping the ball inside the ballpark. If this Red Sox bullpen is going to be anything decent in 2020, they NEED Ryan Brasier to go back to how he was in 2018. We’ve seen it before, and something tells me we’ll see it again in 2020.
We know this Red Sox team is talented. They just need everyone on board and doing their part. If the three guys mentioned above can turn the page in 2020, then that’s a step in the right direction. Should we have expected this type of season after a World Series season the year prior? Maybe. So if that’s the case, we should expect a big season from all of the Red Sox players in 2020.