After the 8-6 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on March 5, the Boston Red Sox have a Grapefruit League record of just 1-5, putting them 13th out of 15 teams in the standings. It is very easy to get caught up in the record and forget that Spring Training — especially this early — is not necessarily about winning games. It is about getting back into game-ready condition and working out those kinks that seem to develop throughout the offseason. Win-loss records mean very little if anything.
In the first half of Spring Training, managers play the Minor-League players more. Starters play less than half a game. For example, outfielder Bryce Brentz led all Red Sox with 11 at bats through the first five games. Brentz has played three years in the Minors and has yet to make his official Major League debut. The projected starter with the most at-bats is Will Middlebrooks with 10. Most starters have eight or fewer at bats through the first five games.
Out of the projected starting rotation, only Felix Doubront and Clay Buchholz have pitched –Doubront has only 2.2 innings while Buchholz has pitched one inning. The regulars will begin to step it up very soon as MLB.com’s Ian Browne noted Wednesday afternoon. John Lester, John Lackey, and Jake Peavy have yet to appear in a Spring Training game. Peavy may miss the beginning of the season due to a laceration on his finger that he suffered in a freak accident at home. He has pitched bullpen sessions but will wait a while longer to appear in a game.
Red Sox fans have no reason to worry about the poor-looking record after just a few exhibition games. Win and losses mean very little, if anything, at this time. Remember that the Red Sox had a Grapefruit League record of an even .500 at 17-17 in Spring Training 2013. They finished in sixth place. However, we all remember who won the World Series.