Red Sox 2022 Review: A Year to Forget

Mark Norris

The Season

The 2022 season for the Boston Red Sox was forgettable, to say the least. Finishing the year with a 78-84 record and at the bottom of AL East, there are a few positive takeaways for the team. The team finished 26-50 against AL East opponents compared to a record of 52-34 against all other teams.

The Positives

The 2022 season was not all negative. We saw some breakout performances from highly rated prospects Bryan Bello and Tristan Casas. Bello emerged as a solid option for the rotation through the second half of the season. As key rotational pieces fell to the IL, Bello was called up to give us a taste.

The team slashed .258/.321/.409 in average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage (Fangraphs). They ranked 3rd, 6th, and 9th in each of the respective categories. While the office did not post outstanding numbers on the year, it was certainly not the entire issue. Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers lead the team in average hitting with .307 and .295, respectively.

The Negatives

The team ranked second in the American League in runners left on base and fifth across the whole league. This stat is indicative of the season as a whole. You simply cannot accomplish this when leaving runners on base at high rates. Down years resulted from big bats such as Martinez and off-season acquisition Trevor Story having a noticeable dip in power.

The pitching staff remained the biggest issue for the Red Sox in 2022. They battled injuries throughout the season and struggled greatly against AL East teams. As a whole, they were plagued by injuries. Most notably, Chris Sale went down after only throwing 5 ⅔ innings since coming off the IL. This seemed to be the absolute low point for the Red Sox. A team desperately looking for a jump start with their ace coming back from injury, just to lose him after only two games. Outside of Sale, key injuries came with Eovaldi, Barnes, Whitlock, Houck, and Wacha all serving stints on the injured list.

A lack of solid, dependable pitching and a drop in power proved too large a deficit for the team to overcome this past season. The biggest issue remained their record against the AL East. Posting a 0.342 record against the teams you face for around 50% of the season will not save you a seat in October.

Looking Ahead

As the 2022 season comes to a close and free agency ramps up, it is interesting to see what direction the Red Sox take. As of now, Xander Bogaerts has opted out of his 6-year/$120 million contract with the Red Sox and is currently a free agent. To what length will the Red Sox go to keep him? We will just have to wait and see what they choose. I asked AJ Pezza his thoughts on the Xander situation. “He’s important; he’s been around for a long time, and he’s the captain of the infield. Replacing him would not be in their best interests.” I fully agree with AJ’s thoughts. It is not as simple as just replacing a player if he walks. You would lose the locker room presence and natural lead-by-example type of player that Xander is.

Another pressing issue the team faces is that of Rafael Devers. Devers, one of the brightest young talents in the game, has his contract coming up next season, and the Red Sox have yet to make any serious offers. I talked to Mr. Hughes about how he thinks the team should proceed. “Signing Devers is a big priority; I want them to put a team on paper that is respectable, and make the team competitive.” It is clear that the team has some big decisions and bid deals to put together this offseason as they look to rebound from a disappointing year.