Severino Injury Opens Door for Red Sox Playoff Hopes

Nobody ever wants to see a player get injured and miss extended time, but the Boston Red Sox may be the biggest beneficiaries of the latest Luis Severino update.

On Tuesday, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman announced that the All-Star right-hander was recommended for Tommy John surgery, and will be going under the knife to repair his elbow. His 2020 season is over before it even started, after being limited to just 20.1 innings in 2019 (including playoffs).

With Severino’s injury, coupled with the news of James Paxton’s offseason back procedure, the Yankees have added immense pressure to their already questionable rotational depth. Instead of having Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ rounding out the rotation, New York will be forced into placing those guys into critical roles.

Enter the 2020 Boston Red Sox.

The Red Sox had an offseason of turmoil and overhaul. The trade of Mookie Betts and David Price, while putting the team below the collective bargaining tax, left a significant –– perhaps insurmountable –– hole to the product on the field in 2020. However, despite all of that, the Boston Red Sox still have a roster that’s ready to compete this season.

The rotation is a major area of concern; question marks fill it from top to bottom. Chris Sale hasn’t pitched a full season since 2017. Eduardo Rodriguez has only pitched one season without an injury list stint. Nathan Eovaldi is a ticking time bomb with his elbow. After them, you have Martín Pérez and a revolving door at the No. 5 slot.

Even with the question marks, there’s enough talent on the team to overcome the deficiencies of the rotation. But why is that?

For starters, their offense is still top-10 in all of baseball. While Mookie Betts was a large reason for the offense’s success over the past four seasons, the Red Sox still are more than capable of slugging their way through games.

J.D. Martinez. Rafael Devers. Xander Bogaerts. Andrew Benintendi. Alex Verdugo. Five names that Red Sox fans should be keeping an eye on in 2020 as they attempt to stitch together the hole created by Mookie Betts’ departure. They’ll find out that they can’t replace him, but to steal a line from ‘Moneyball,’ they can recreate him in the aggregate.

On top of an offense loaded with firepower, the bullpen’s importance cannot be understated.

They didn’t make a splash in free agency. Guys like Dellin Betances and Will Harris left their respective teams, but are not headed to Beantown. However, in establishing roles early, the Red Sox may be able to avoid the struggles of yesteryear.

Brandon Workman was named the team’s closer before July, unlike a year ago. In doing so, Matt Barnes, Darwinzon Hernandez, Josh Taylor, and co. are now going to enter the ballpark with a general idea of what’s expected from them.

In an offseason where the rest of the American League seemed to find a way to improve, the Red Sox seemed to take a step back in terms of talent. That being said, the spreading of talent could actually lower the win total needed to make the postseason.

You know what they say, “An 85-win team can become a 90-win team with a few breaks here and there.” While you never want to see somebody go down and get hurt, the Boston Red Sox have had a gateway to the 2020 postseason open up with the early injury-bug that’s hit the Bronx.

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2 Responses

    1. Tanner Houck and Ryan Weber both looked good in their spring debuts. Those are my top 2 candidates. Kyle Hart got touched up in his debut but I wouldn’t write him off yet

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