David Ortiz may finally be showing the signs of age. Credit: Getty Images
The Red Sox have only five batters who quality for statistical records, which goes to show just how inconsistent their lineup has been in 2014.
No surprise, they’ve struggled to a 43-52 record at the All-Star break coming off one of the most surprisingly enjoyable seasons in franchise history.
The season may not be over yet, but it certainly has that feeling at eight games back in the wild-card race.
Metro takes a look at the key contributors on offense — those five mentioned above — and grades a disappointing first half.
Mike Napoli, first base
The Red Sox were probably expecting more than 34 RBIs out of someone hitting in the middle of the lineup, but all of Napoli’s other numbers (.266 average, .389 OBP, 10 HR) are on pace with or better than he did last season. He needs to improve his .187 average with runners in scoring position.
Dustin Pedroia, second base
The 30-year-old keeps plugging away, though he’s not at the same level he was a few years ago. He’s bounced back from a June in which he hit .267 to a July where he is hitting .333. The power outage remains. He has two homers since May 11 and is on pace to hit fewer than last year’s nine bombs.
Xander Bogaerts, shortstop/third base
The Red Sox would likely rather use Will Middlebrooks or Stephen Drew in the lineup, but neither has deserved it. Bogaerts hasn’t much either, though at least he’s been healthy. He’s shown a little bit of power (six homers), but little else to get excited about.
Jackie Bradley Jr., centerfield
Fans, and probably the front office, were expecting much more out of Bradley in his first full season in the bigs. He’s hitting .227 with just one home run. His power hasn’t come at the next level and neither has his average. He’s just taking up space now.
David Ortiz, designated hitter
The power remains for Ortiz (20 home runs), but the wear and tear may be beginning to show on the 38-year-old. After three straight years over .300, he’s batting .255 and on pace for his worst season since 2009.
John Lackey, starter
Even at 35, 12 years removed from his star turn as a rookie in the World Series, Lackey is still getting it done. He's 10-6 with a 3.79 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 123 1/3 innings. We'll have to see whether he stays on the Sox after July 31, though.
Jon Lester, starter
The Sox's lone All-Star seems to be off the board as far as a trade in concerned, which is likely a relief for fans. He's 9-7 with a 2.65 ERA and should be right in the mix for the AL Cy Young. He's made an absurdly low $44 million over his first nine seasons in Boston. He deserves to get paid.
Clay Buchholz, starter
Buchholz has been an enigma for much of his Red Sox career. He's been no different in 2014. After an unbelievably low 1.74 ERA in 16 starts last season, he's struggled this season — though he has remained healthy. His ERA is at 5.42 and he's giving up too many home runs (12). But he closed the first half with a brilliant shutout, so maybe he's turning the corner.
Andrew Miller, reliever
Miller has done nothing but pump up his trade value this season. He's at a 2.23 ERA with 58 strikeouts in only 36 1/3 innings pitched. He's a great setup guy, but it probably makes more sense to trade him.
Koji Uehara, closer
After a breakout 2013, Uehara has kept it up this season. He has 18 saves (two blown saves) and a 1.65 ERA. He's also piling up the Ks, like Miller, with 57 in 43 2/3 innings. It's a much tougher decision whether the Sox want to trade him.