It’s time to drop some hard truth about the 2022 Boston Red Sox.

Even though there are two full months left in the season — and the Red Sox have a mathematical possibility to grab a wild card spot for the playoffs — any hope this team has at having a deep playoff run is effectively over.

Short of a miracle (which would be followed by an immediate column begging forgiveness), the season will continue to be a downward spiral for the Sox, who entered Saturday with a 54-54 record, good enough for last place in the American League East, 16.5 games behind the hated New York Yankees.

And why? Why has it gotten so bad? How has this season become the perfect storm of disaster? I have broken it down to three major points: Injuries, poor play and poor roster management.

There’s no question that injuries have hurt Boston throughout the season and, in defense of the team, you can’t plan on injuries. Among the players currently on the injured list, pitchers Chris Sale (broken finger) and Michael Wacha (shoulder), second baseman Trevor Story (wrist fracture), outfielders Enrique Hernandez (hip) and Rob Refsnyder (sprained knee). Sale, Boston’s supposed ace, has pitched a total of 11 games over nearly two seasons, thanks to a variety of injuries. Of the group, Wacha is the only one in line to return to the roster in the near future.

The play on the field speaks for itself. After going 23-27 through April and May, Boston had a terrific June, finishing with a 20-6 record. The Sox were the darlings of the American League for a short time. They followed it with a miserable July, going 8-19. On paper, Boston appears to be doing fine at the plate. The Red Sox are third of the 15 teams in the AL in batting average (.252), first in doubles (239), third in runs (477), third in hits (926) and fifth in RBIs (455). But certain players are not living up to expectations this season, namely designated hitter J.D. Martinez, who has just nine home runs after 91 games. Bobby Dalbec, who has played in 96 games, mostly at first base — traditionally a power position — is hitting .205 with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs.


The pitching? Dreadful. Boston is 14th in the AL — and 24th in MLB — in ERA (4.30), 12th in the AL in WHIP (1.31) and 13th in opponent batting average (.250). The Boston bullpen, to this point in the season, has the sixth-highest group ERA in MLB (4.26).

This leads us to roster management, which falls directly at the feet of Chaim Bloom, the chief baseball officer. Bloom, 39, who came to the Red Sox from the Tampa Bay Rays after the 2019 season, is the anti-Dave Dombroski. Where Dombroski decimated the minor league system of prospects in exchange for high-price talent, Bloom will happily shed high-end talent for prospects who might be productive years down the road. Look no further than his latest move, trading catcher Christian Vazquez — who was hitting .282 with eight home runs and 42 RBIs — for second baseman Emmanuel Valdez and outfielder Wilyer Abreu, players ranked 28th and 29th, respectively, in the Red Sox minor league system right now per It is yet to be seen if either Valdez or Abreu come through as future stars, but now Boston’s two catchers are Kevin Plawecki (.183 batting average, a home run and seven RBIs) and Reese McGuire (.225, zero home runs, 10 RBIs before coming to Boston).

But this started long before the deadline. Bloom entered 2022 thinking Dalbec and retread Travis Shaw could hold down first base. Shaw went 0 for 19 at the plate and was designated for assignment on May 1. Dalbec, in his second full MLB season, is hitting himself out of Boston. In a too little, too late move, Bloom traded with San Diego for veteran first baseman Eric Hosmer at the trade deadline.

Red Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale walks off the mound after being hit in the left hand by a line drive in the first inning against the Yankees on July 17 in New York. Julia Nikhinson/Associated Press

It was Bloom who decided that the best remedy of replacing Hunter Renfroe — who hit 31 home runs and had 96 RBIs last year, and has 19 home runs and 43 RBIs right now for the Milwaukee Brewers — was bringing back Jackie Bradley Jr., the human highlight reel of centerfielders. As usual, Bradley Jr. provided amazing defense. He also provided his usual production at the plate, hitting .210 with three home runs and 29 RBIs. Bradley Jr. was designated for assignment on Thursday.

There’s also the debacle of how the Vazquez move went down at the trade deadline. After going through team meetings and batting practice, Vazquez was surrounded by reporters telling him he was traded to Houston. Vazquez looked almost in tears, about to answer questions before a Red Sox employee pulled him out of the dugout. Making a trade before a game is not uncommon, but the look on the face of Vazquez indicated he may have found out the news right then and there. That night in Houston was nothing short of a circus.

Perhaps this season will be a wake-up call for the entire organization. It’s happened before. After going 69-93 in 2012 (the dreaded Bobby Valentine season), Boston went on to win the 2013 World Series. After going 24-36 in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, the Red Sox went 92-70 last year, losing in the American League Championship Series.

It’s not impossible for this to turn around. It’s just not going to happen this season.

But, as they say, there’s always next year. Maybe.

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