With the 2017 Boston Red Sox regular season coming to an end soon, it’s times like this where it is good to reflect on the months that were. It’s good to know how we have gotten where we are today.
Here is a list of five of the biggest stories out of the Red Sox organization this season.
David Price in the heart of controversy
On June 29, a confrontation occurred on a team flight between NESN analyst/color commentator, Dennis Eckersley, and left-handed pitcher David Price. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe originally broke this story the next day, but there were limited details available to the public due to everyone who was present declining to comment on the matter. It wasn’t until the last week of July until details started to pour out about this incident.
This whole deal of controversy started when Dennis Eckersley referred to a rehab start by Eduardo Rodriguez with the word “Yuck.” This set-off a spark in Price. During a flight, Price confronted Eckersley and started making a scene, and yelling expletives.
“Here he is — the greatest pitcher who ever lived! This game is easy for him!” “get the (expletive) out of here.”
David Price out as a Starter for Remainder of Season
One day prior to the release of the quotes from the plane incident, David Price made what was his last start of the regular season. This was because on the day of his next scheduled start, he fell victim to yet another problem in his left elbow.
Many fans in Boston speculated that he was “afraid” to pitch in Boston, due to the reactions he was inevitably going to get from the crowd. That however, was not that case. He was indeed suffering from inflammation in his throwing elbow. The same elbow that he injured during Spring Training forced him to start the season late in May.
David returned on Sept. 17, after it was announced he was going to finish out the season from the bullpen. He has provided sufficient use from this role so far. He has tossed a combined scoreless 4.2 innings. There have been talks about keeping him in that spot for the playoffs, to serve as an inning-eater when necessary.
Pickup of Doug Fister
Doug Fister was claimed off of waivers from the Los Angeles Angels to provide rotational support with the loss of Eduardo Rodriguez who was sidelined with a knee injury. In his first 10 outings (seven starts), it appeared as though that the Fister experiment was a failure. He had a 5.56 ERA in that time. Dave Dombrowski kept his faith in him, despite that ugly stretch.
After that, Fister proceeded to hurl four absolutely stunning starts. The first was a one-hit, complete-game gem against Cleveland. His next three outings were of the seven inning variety, with two or fewer runs allowed in each.
Fister is now back in yet another tail-spin. In his last three outings, he has pitched just a combined 11.1 innings and allowed a total of 14 earned runs in them.
One would believe that Doug Fister is going to make the postseason roster no matter how bad he does until then, for the plain fact that his numbers in the playoffs are incredible.
Rafael Devers called up
These next two men invigorated this offense in a major time of need. Prior to the promtion of the No. six (midseason, via. Baseball America) ranked prospect Rafael Devers, the offense as a whole in the middle of a midseason breakdown.
He was slugging away like there was no tomorrow at the Double-A level until his brief promotion to Triple-A, and then to the show.
Devers, being the only heavy-hitting third baseman in the organization, was needed to take over the position of third base, as there was not a permanent player there at the time. Since his callup in July, he has certainly exceeded expectations at the plate, but not necessarily at the hot-corner.
He has raked 10 round-trippers in his total 51 played games, and amounted a batting average of .303. His average is the second-highest on the team, and rather impressive for a midseason call up rookie.
Devers, despite his hot bat, has not been flashing the leather up to par. He has clocked a total of 13 errors at the hot corner. That’s the third highest at that position in the American League, and he’s only been playing for less than three months.
The Trade for Eduardo Nunez
Just like Devers, Eduardo Nunez was brought in during the tail end of July. Nunez was traded for a pair of minor-league right-handed pitchers on the 26th of the month. He was brought in to be a platoon infielder, who shifts positions occasionally.
He has mostly seen his success while playing at second base, in place of Dustin Pedroia when he was hurt.
Prior to Nunez’s knee injury that he is still battling now, he was the most consistent hitter on the entire team. In his 37 games played, he racked up a team-leading batting average of .319, an OPS of .885, and a slugging percentage of .534.
Even though he has only played in about a month’s worth of games, it doesn’t make his contributions any less impressive.