Photo credit: Kelly O'Connor

Photo credit: Kelly O’Connor

While no Red Sox rookie has truly captured a rotation spot on next years team, Anthony Ranaudo left a good final impression in his last start of the 2014 season. After the Rays tallied two first inning runs against the right-hander, Ranaudo settled down and went on to toss 7 innings of 6 hit baseball. The 24-year old’s rough first inning was his only blemish on the night, as he collected his fourth major league win. While Ranaudo didn’t really need a lot of run support, he got it anyway. After Garin Cecchini tallied his first big league home run and Xander Bogaerts collected an RBI on a sac fly, Boston knotted the score at 2 after two innings of play. In the fourth inning, a double by Bryce Brentz started a 5 run Boston rally, in which the Red Sox were helped along by 3 walks and a run scoring wild pitch. In the sixth the Rays continued to shoot themselves in the foot, as they issued 3 bases loaded walks and allowed another run to score on a passes ball. In the end, Tampa Bay all but gift wrapped Wednesday’s game as Boston was only 3-for-10 with runners in scoring position, but still managed to accumulate 11 runs.

  • With a limited amount of power on this seasons free agent market, the Red Sox were proactive at the trade deadline when they acquired Athletics slugger Yoenis Cespedes. But aside from obtaining power they desperately needed, the Red Sox also took a sizable risk by using Jon Lester as a means to bring the Cuban to Boston. Surely Lester’s performance this season could have netted the Red Sox a top tier prospect or two, instead of potentially one full season of Cespedes. Moreover, the 27-year old’s defensive woes in left-field, and his all-or-nothing approach at the plate have made some question if Cespedes is a long term solution for the Red Sox. (The Gamble: Fate of Red Sox’ landmark bet on Yoenis Cespedes)
  • No Red Sox’ rookies deserves to occupy a roster spot next season more than Mookie Betts. After starting the year in double-A, the 21-year old breezed through the triple-A circuit before taking the Red Sox by storm. But with a log jammed outfield and Dustin Pedroia manning second base for the foreseeable future, Betts hasn’t exactly locked up a roster spot next season. With Will Middlebrooks continuing to struggle, some have look at third base as a position that Betts could seek refuge at. However, time and time again, John Farrell has diffused the notion that Betts should be moved from the outfield to factor into next years plans. (Farrell: Betts an outfielder, not a third baseman)
  • After steamrolling the entire American League virtually all of last season, the Red Sox have been one of the leagues worst teams a season later. In their own division in particular, Boston now holds a losing record against fellow AL East occupants. Tuesday night’s 6-2 loss against the Tampa Bay Rays ensured that the Red Sox wouldn’t even crack the .500 mark against division rivals, a low that hasn’t been reached since 1969. (Sox end up losers versus all AL East rivals)
  • Perhaps Boston’s most unrecognized transaction of the 2013 offseason, has turned into Boston’s most underrated player during the 2014 season. No front page headlines were made when the Red Sox acquired Burke Badenhop from the Milwaukee Brewers last offseason, but he’s pitched like a high money reliever this season. Currently boasting an ERA of 2.33 — the lowest on the team — the 31-year old has leapfrogged Koji Uehara as the steadiest reliever in the Sox pen. Badenhop, who almost quit baseball all together as a minor league, now heads into free agency as one of the best relief arms available. (Money Man: Burke Badenhop follows unlikely path to cusp of free agency)
  • A clean shaven Mike Napoli appeared in the Red Sox dugout on Wednesday night, and spiraled Red Sox Nation into a deep depression. While it’s only facial hair, Napoli’s beard was a constant reminder of the once in a lifetime group of players that Boston road to the acme of baseball last season. (Mike Napoli? Is that you?)
  • Tweet of the day: 🙁