After an extended hiatus, 3 Up 3 Down returns to give you a look at who
performed well and who did not over the past week of Red Sox baseball.
After what has been a tumultuous season (that could be the understatement of the
season), the Boston Red Sox, after taking 2 of 3 in the Bronx, now stand at only (ONLY)
6 games back in both the American League East and the Wildcard. This would be
fantastic news if we were transitioning into the month of June, but with July on the
horizon the Sox are in dire straits with only 80 games left to play. While it is a stretch to
say the Red Sox will be playing in October, at the very least we have some instant
gratification after the weekend’s three game set with the Yankees.
If the Red Sox are in fact going to make a 2013 Dodgers-esque run throughout the
second half of the season, now would be a good time to start. Oddly enough, on June 30
of last season the Dodgers record of 38-43 was nearly identical to the 2014 Red Sox 38-
44. Almost right after this, the Dodgers went on a tear and ended the month of July in
first place with a record of 58-49. In addition, the 2013 NL West likens many similarities to the 2014
AL East in that there is no true front runner. In today’s AL East it seems as if no one
wants to take control of the division:
TB: 35-49 (but plus 12 Win’s for all Joe Maddon’s inspirational tweets)
Thus, shhhh, if the Red Sox start winning series’ consistently they have a legitimate shot
at the division.
The reason for the call up of Betts, is, in short, because the Red Sox needed a spark. After slumping below mediocrity for the past
couple of months, Ben Cherington decided it was time to call up the most exciting player
in the Red Sox farm system. Enter Mookie Betts. If you are a Red Sox fan you know his
story so I’m not going to talk about his physical attributes or that he has demolished
every level of pitching he has come across since becoming a member of the Red Sox
Therefore, let’s talk about what he can do over the next few months.
Betts has the ability to, eventually, hit atop a struggling Red Sox lineup and provide a huge
lift. He is a fantastic baserunner with plus speed, will make regular contact without
striking out often (33 in 359 MiLB PA’s in 2014), has sneaky power, and should hit for a
high average (hopefully soon).
Will he be the Yasiel Puig of the 2013 Dodgers? Probably not, but he certainly should
Through 48 games played for the Sox, Holt has a 1.6 fWAR all while hitting leadoff and
slashing .321/.369/.449. Not only does he continue to hit, but he has been playing great
defense anywhere the Red Sox choose to put him. It has gotten to the point where you
have to believe that Holt can hit MLB pitching consistently and could very well end his 2014
campaign hitting over .300. It is dafe to say that the Sox would not be within striking
distance of the AL East lead without Holt in the lineup.
While I’m pretty sure no one expected Buchholz to replicate his 2013 performance, I’m
100% sure no one saw him fall off a cliff in 2014. His 6.75 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, 3.77 BB/9,
and .362 BABIP are uncharacteristically terrible and a direct correlation with how bad
the Red Sox have been this season. However, after an extended DL stint, a few rehab
starts, and “fixed” mechanics there is reason for optimism. While Clay didn’t set the
world on fire in his first start back since the DL, his quality performance in Seattle (with
really only one bad inning, 76 pitches in 7.1 innings, and ZERO walks) is a huge
step in the right direction. If Buchholz can be 80% of what he was in 2013, the Red Sox
are in much better shape now then they were during the first half to the season.
My favorite John Farrell quote of the week is his response to Doubront’s demotion to the
bullpen when he essentially said that Doubront needed to pitch better: “There’s a way to get back in the rotation and that’s pitch your
way back into it.” Doubront better figure out how to pitch better pretty quickly with
Brandon Workman supplanting him in the rotation and Rubby De La Rosa nipping at his
Quite frankly, Doubront has no argument to stay in the rotation. One simply has to look
at his 4 BB/9, 6.19 K/9, and 4.99 ERA to know that he has been in the Siberia territory
There comes a time when front offices, coaches, teams, and fans alike must stop relying
on certain players to stay healthy and contribute at a high level. I think that time has
come for both Victorino and Middlebrooks. It seems as though each time they are to
begin a rehab start something goes wrong and both are “shut down.” Just two days ago
both Victorino and Middlebrooks were shut down “indefinitely” from baseball rehab
activities. It should come as no surprise that this directly coincided with the call up of
When Drew re-signed with the Red Sox on May 20 it looked like a solid move. Now,
however, Drew is in the midst of a hell of a slump and has not shown signs of
improvement. Sure he is playing his usual solid defense, but unless he starts to hit near
his career averages, this could end up being a disastrous signing for the Olde Town
Tweets of the Week will come next Monday.