The Boston Red Sox are coming off a disastrous 2020 campaign that saw them finish with the fourth-worst record in the MLB.
Lowest winning percentages this season in MLB, which will determine 2021 draft order:
Pittsburgh – . 317
Texas – .367
Detroit – .397
Boston – .400
— Kennedy's Commentary (@RedSoxSite) September 27, 2020
Now, after making moves in the offseason to regain their footing and find some success, the team is looking to rebound in 2021.
However, this doesn’t mean that they are exempt from a variety of questions they are facing moving forward.
Here are the three most pressing questions that surround the Red Sox heading into this season.
1. Can The Pitching Hold Up?
The Red Sox will be able to produce on offense this year.
On the other hand, their pitching staff will certainly have to prove themselves.
It will also be interesting to see the recovery of starter Eduardo Rodriguez, who had a very difficult struggle with the COVID-19 virus last summer.
8 Ks through his first 5 innings.
Nick Pivetta is feeling right at home. pic.twitter.com/Ue3E1Y2MyM
— Red Sox (@RedSox) September 23, 2020
There are questions surrounding their health and effectiveness at the MLB level, something that is concerning for Red Sox fans.
The team’s success will start and end with their pitching: If their arms are able to hold up and perform above expectations, they may be able to surprise some teams in the American League.
However, if their pitching falls flat on their face, then it will be an uphill battle for the team.
2. Which J.D. Martinez Will We See?
Martinez had an unforgettable season last year.
He appeared to be noticeably impacted by the abnormalities that COVID brought to the season.
Such changes included limited access to film rooms throughout the year.
In the last few seasons, he has become known as a mindful player that studies his swings and approach at the plate.
The 60-game season appeared to throw that all off, which set him up for failure during the season.
Now, with a full 162-game schedule, he will look to rebound in a big way.
With him at the center of this Red Sox lineup, it will be critical for him to return to his old form.
This will take a lot of the pressure off of the younger Red Sox hitters and give them even more protection.
It is also no secret that an effective Martinez is one of the best hitters in the entire MLB.
JD Martinez is clutch!
Red Sox back on top 🚨
— Bleacher Report MLB (@BR_MLB) October 25, 2018
We have yet to see which version we will see this year, and it is a major question surrounding the team for 2021.
3. Can The Young Hitters Hold Up?
With any younger players, there is always worry around the level of production they can keep.
It can go two ways: either the players exceed expectations or fall well short of what they hope to do.
If a rookie like Dalbec can get out to a strong start and have a legitimate shot at the Rookie of the Year Award, the team will get a much-needed boost offensively.
Just Bobby Dalbec. pic.twitter.com/1Z9KcwOBMt
— Red Sox (@RedSox) March 17, 2021
The full, 162-game season will feel long to these Red Sox hitters.
It will be interesting to see if they are able to hold up and produce enough offense to carry the team.