Barring a miracle we'll see our first shortened MLB season since 1994 and 1995 when baseball was interrupted due to a player’s strike. In 2020 the season should be about a week old, but there are of course bigger problems in the world. With a potential shortened season, perhaps there won’t be as much gloom and doom over on Jersey Street. The Boston Red Sox had one of the most tumultuous off seasons in MLB history. From missing the playoffs, an MLB cheating investigation that led to the removal of Alex Cora as manager, Mookie Betts getting traded with David Price to LA, to Chris Sale getting Tommy John and creating a PR nightmare. And yet, the Sox could still salvage the season.
Right now it looks like the season won’t start until at least the start of June, which means we won’t see 162 games. If it’s 80-100 games perhaps the Sox could strike some luck. Boston won’t have two of their top arms from their World Series season, but they will still have the services of Eduardo Rodriguez.
E-Rod is coming off his best season in terms of W-L, ERA, starts, innings pitched and strikeouts. With a shortened season it’s realistic Rodriguez could see a third of the Red Sox starts (barring scheduled doubleheaders). It’s been proven that teams with a four-man starting rotation can have a shot at the postseason, look no further than the Tampa Bay Rays. Only one player made more than 30 starts (Charlie Morton) but the team made it to Game 5 of the division series. If Rodriguez can give them a repeat performance in 2020, the Sox should be able to get Eovaldi and newcomers Martin Perez and Colin McHugh to be a sufficient supporting cast.
Whether you agree with it getting done right away or not, Chris Sale got his Tommy John surgery in California. The general rehab for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, which means the Boston would see Sale return around June of next year. If the hometown team can patchwork this season’s starting pitching, Sale could return for a postseason chase in 2021 with a delayed start, which is what some believe should’ve happened to begin with.
While we are talking about a potential late start for the 2020 season, there is a possibility that the season doesn’t happen. With that, Mookie Betts wouldn’t take the field in Dodger blue and the Red Sox would have minor league prospects for a player that wasn’t coming back here. Speaking of prospects, one of them is Alex Verdugo, who was dealing with a stress fracture in his back. If the season gets wiped out Verdugo could wait for his back to heal with rest or if some type of surgical procedure was needed, and he’d be ready by 2021.
Whether the season is shortened or crammed together, all Boston fans want is a competitive team. This lineup will continue to keep the Sox in games with the likes of Bogaerts, Devers and Martinez hitting baseballs all over the MLB pinball machine known as Fenway Park.