BOSTON, MA - MAY 26: Dustin Pedroia #15 of the Boston Red Sox adjusts his Franklin batting gloves during a game against the Atlanta Braves at Fenway Park on May 26, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

It’s another exciting summer of Baseball in Boston. The classic showdown against the Yankees is starting to heat up as the 2018 summer begins and wouldn’t you know it, despite a first-place standing, the Red Sox management drops a bombshell? Friday morning the club announced that they have designated first baseman Hanley Ramirez for assignment. In this post, we’ll review three areas that the Red Sox need to focus on going forward if they hope to reclaim the AL East crown.

How Does the Red Sox Depth Stack Up in 2018

Strong Bullpen

Comparing the Red Sox bullpen to the rest of the American League teams, the club has one of the best in the league. Closer Craig Kimbrel continues to dominate other closers with 16 saves, and Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, and Hector Velazquez have all been lights out.

Out of the three divisional teams, the Red Sox have the toughest bullpens with Kimbrel leading the way followed by the Yankees with ten saves, the Indians with nine saves and Houston with 12 saves. As long as Kimbrel is fresh and healthy the club can be a serious contender.

Starting Pitching

So far in 2018 the Red Sox starting pitching of David Price, Chris Sale, and Rick Porcello has been strong. Swingman Drew Pomeranz has been struggling while Eduardo Rodriguez has been splendid.

As for the Yankees, their starting pitching has also been solid. Led by Luis Severino, the Yankees are a game behind Boston with a 31-18 and a 3.18 team ERA. Only the Astros are better with a combined total of 2.39. The Indians are 24-24 heading into Memorial Day weekend with a team ERA of 3.99.

By releasing Ramirez, the Red Sox created an opening for Dustin Pedroia who has been out since early last season with a knee injury. Saturday’s game against Atlanta marked his 2018 season debut. With Pedroia healthy, the club is better off defensively with Mitch Moreland and Pedroia.

Depth

The Red Sox have been getting solid contributions from reserves Eduardo Nunez and Brock Holt. All to often fans get over excited about signing big name free agents. An excellent example is offseason signing of Giancarlo Stanton by the Yankees and the Red Sox coming to terms with J.D. Martinez. But in conclusion, the teams that remain on top are the ones with the starting pitching and bullpen with the ability to win close games.

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