The Red Sox are about to embark on their 2020 season. This comes after one of the hardest off-seasons to date. Mookie Betts is gone. David Price went with Mookie to the Dodgers. Rick Porcello is a Met. Brock Holt has found a new home with the Brewers. The cheating scandal investigation is still pending. There's a lot of stuff that went on through the long off-season. But that's over, and the Red Sox still have a season to play. Even though a lot of people are writing off the Red Sox, they still can have a successful 2020. Here are three keys to making 2020 a successful season.
The entire Red Sox pitching staff starts and ends with Christopher Allen Sale. We know exactly what Sale can offer to any MLB team. He has an exceptional fastball with a devastating slider that can make any hitter look foolish. With as good of stuff as Chris Sale has, what has been his one achilles heel? His health. Sale has found a way to go onto the injured list each year in his Red Sox tenure. He missed most of the 2019 season with injuries and now, we even have rumors Sale might not be ready for Opening Day. Look, Sale is one of my favorite MLB players in the game today. But the health is a legitimate concern. If Sale can stay healthy for the entire 2020 season that's a huge plus right there. Also, if he can go back to being the Chris Sale of old, contending for CY Young awards and such; then we have something here. It's no secret that Sale is one of the biggest keys to a successful 2020 Red Sox season.
We might not have Mookie Betts in the lineup anymore. But we still have J.D. Martinez to hit in the third spot in the lineup. Martinez proved in 2018 that he was the power hitter that the Red Sox needed on a day to day basis. Let's also not forget that he has his good moments in the outfield as well. We know that Martinez will pretty much be the everyday DH. But, we need J.D. to go back to his 2018 self. Not that 2019 was a bad year per say, as he hit 36 homeruns and knocked in 105 runs. But in 2018 Martinez was on a different level. With Mookie gone, J.D. will have to pick up some of the production that Betts had last season. We know J.D. isn't stealing bases and playing gold glove caliber defense in the outfield. But going back to 2018 J.D. offensively in 2020 will cover a lot of warts.
Nathan Eovaldi needs to step up for the Red Sox in 2020. Make the Red Sox fans who hate the contract like it more after a big season. Listen, Eovaldi has good stuff, with a triple digit fastball and solidified off-speed. But like Sale, Eovaldi is a victim to the injury bug. He needs to be the number three on this staff and give you 200 innings. Can Eovaldi be effective when healthy? Absolutely, yes! Hopefully, we see a fully healthy Eovaldi to help the Red Sox have a better 2020 than people are anticipating.