The Red Sox enter the unofficial start of the second half of the season in first place in the American League East and it certainly wasn’t what many people envisioned going into the year coming off a 69-win season in 2012. Here are a few mid-season awards and one disappointment for the Sox so far in 2013:
Team MVP: Dustin Pedroia
There is no question this award deserves to go to Pedroia who is having an MVP caliber season. He’s been outstanding both in the field, making spectacular plays at second base, and at the dish. As of this past weekend Pedroia was hitting .318 with 6 home runs and 55 RBIs. His average was fifth best in the American League and he’s played in every game except one.
Offensive MVP: David Ortiz
Ortiz is having another exceptional season, even at age 37. As of Saturday the designated hitter was hitting .323 with 19 home runs and 65 RBIs. His RBI total is sixth in the AL, despite having missed much of April due to an Achilles injury. His ability to hit to all parts of the park has certainly paid off so far this season.
Pitching MVP: John Lackey
Coming off of Tommy John surgery Lackey has been better than anyone could have imagined. Following his win Friday night, Lackey is now 7-6 on the season, but has pitched much better than his record would indicate as he has a 2.78 ERA, good for fourth in the AL. He’s turned into the ace of the Red Sox rotation as of now with Jon Lester struggling and Clay Buchholz on the DL, not pitching in well over a month.
Biggest surprise: Daniel Nava
Although he may not be hitting at the clip he did at the beginning of the year, Nava has been arguably the biggest surprise on the roster. He’s evolved into an every day outfielder and the depth he’s provided is a major reason why the Red Sox are in first place at the break. Going into Saturday, the switch-hitter was hitting .290 with 10 home runs and 52 RBIs.
Biggest disappointment: Jon Lester
With such a successful and surprising first half to the season for the Sox it’s hard to complain, but Lester has not pitched anywhere near close to his capability. After starting the season 4-0 with a 3.11 ERA, Lester is now 8-6 with a 4.58 ERA at the break, struggling over the past two months or so. In 10 of his last 11 starts the left-hander has allowed three runs or more. The Red Sox need Lester to get back on track for the second half of the year and their playoff push.
Follow Metro Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @hannable84