Following the Red Sox' three-game sweep at the hands of the last-place Baltimore Orioles, GM Theo Epstein insinuated that the team may need to make roster changes. In a piece by John Tomase of the Boston Herald, Epstein assesses the current state of his club:
"We’re still playing bad baseball. Unintelligent, undisciplined, uninspired baseball. It’s got to change…. It either changes itself or we have to do something to change it."
The Red Sox ranked first in baseball in offseason spending, investing in players like John Lackey, Mike Cameron, Adrian Beltre, and Marco Scutaro. The on-field product has underperformed so far though, looking up in the standings at the Rays, Yankees, and even the Blue Jays.
As Tomase suggests, it's hard to single out one player or even one aspect of the team as the root of the problem. However, when considering the likelihood of a drastic roster move, it's worth noting that many of the struggling players are in the final year of their contracts. Victor Martinez has had trouble throwing out basestealers and is hitting just .233/.298/.314. Designated hitters David Ortiz (.159/.254/.381) and Mike Lowell (.222/.300/.333) are underachieving and overpaid. Even Beltre, despite a .330 average, has yet to homer and has played mediocre defense by his standards, committing his sixth error of the season tonight.
The Red Sox are, of course, unlikely to become sellers, but they'll need to turn things around soon or risk falling from contention in a competitive division. If the Sox fail to make up ground on the Rays and Yankees in the AL East, what moves could you see the club making in the coming weeks and months?