The Red Sox went 12-16 in June. As the month draws to a close, their overall record is 38-45. They are six-and-a-half games behind the first-place Toronto Blue Jays. Many are writing them off. Talk has turned to whether or not they should be "sellers" at the trade deadline (July 31) and consider dealing players like Jon Lester and Koji Uehara. Insanity, I say.
The Red Sox are far from out of it. I will go so far as to say I believe the Red Sox will still finish atop the A.L. East. Yes, you read it hear first. And you'll hear about it in September when I am right (or you won't hear it at all it if I'm wrong).
Here's June's report card. Each player's April and May grades will appear in parentheses following my comments.
A.J. Pierzynski: C-. Now that Mookie Betts is in Boston, Christian Vazquez appears to be the next prospect knocking on the door. No matter if Boston become buyers or sellers, Pierzynski needs to go. (April grade C-. May grade: B-)
Mike Napoli: A. Napoli appears fully recovered from his finger injury. He hit .311 with 5 home runs in June. (A-, C-).
Dustin Pedroia: B-. Power is gone. Hard to believe he is healthy. Defense continues to be stellar. (B, B)
Xander Bogaerts: C-. June was not kind to Bogaerts. Hit .135 for the month while leading the team in strikeouts (27). (B-, A-)
Stephen Drew: F. He needs to go back a grade. He wasn't ready. Needed some more reps in Pawtucket. (N/A, N/A)
Brock Holt; A+. Continues to excel despite playing new positions. Has shored up the leadoff position. (N/A, A)
Jackie Bradley, Jr.: C+. He is still this teacher's pet. Did you see that throw to the plate the other night? (B+, B-)
Shane Victorino: Incomplete. Didn't play a single game with Boston in June. Out indefinitely with back and hamstring issues. (Incomplete, Incomplete)
Jonny Gomes: C-. Gomes is a power hitter. In June, he was a power hitter who didn't homer once. (C-, B-)
Daniel Nava: B. Showing signs of life (.313 batting average, .405 OBP). Better late than nava. (N/A, N/A)
David Ortiz: B-. Made more headlines for complaining about scoring decisions than anything he did on the field. (C+, B)
Jon Lester: A. Price tag keeps going higher and higher. (A-, A-)
John Lackey: B-. His first sub-par month. Still a solid number two pitcher in the rotation. (A-, A)
Clay Buchholz: D+. Increased velocity since his latest return. Still plagued by the long ball. (C-, F)
Felix Doubront: F. Can't spell Felix without an F. Demoted to the bullpen. (F, F)
Jake Peavy: F. 0-5 record in June. Not good. (A, C-)
Brandon Workman: A-. Should stay in the rotation for the rest of the year. (N/A, N/A)
Rubby De La Rosa: A-. Should stay in the rotation for the rest of the year, also. Alas, he is now, inexplicably, in Pawtucket. (N/A, N/A)
Junichi Tazawa: A-. Continues to be rock solid setting up for Koji. (A-, A-)
Edward Mujica: B. Most improved player from the start of the season through June? (F, C)
Andrew Miller: B+. Struck out two batters per inning in June! (A-, B+)
Craig Breslow: C. Nothing spectacular. (F, C)
Burke Badenhop: A. He did give up an earned run in June which is one more than he did in May. (C, A)
Koji Uehara: A. He did blow a save this month. (A+, A+)
June saw the expulsion of Grady Sizemore (C, C) and Chris Capuano (A, B-).
Mookie Betts is the new kid in the class.