GM shares thoughts on state of Red Sox

June 15th, 2023

This story was excerpted from Ian Browne’s Red Sox Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

The way the season started, it looked like it might be one of those overachieving seasons for the Red Sox. However, the club has struggled of late and is fighting to stay in postseason contention. I had a chance to speak with chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom this week to get his gauge on what is happening with his 34-35 team. How surprised are you at the overall level of play of the team lately, particularly given how well you were playing a month ago?

Bloom: Some of this is obviously the ups and downs of a season. But given what we showed for a while there, it's frustrating to see us be so inconsistent. Going into the season, everyone looked at the offense as the overwhelming strength of the team. How surprising is it to see how much that unit has fallen off over the last three weeks or so?

Bloom: It's really frustrating while it’s happening. I do think it’s going to come back. A lot of these games where we haven't scored runs, we've had plenty of traffic. Usually when you do that, you're gonna find a way to get your share runs on the board. Just some of these nights, it just hasn't happened. We've shown the ability to score runs in bunches.

I think the worst thing we can do is start trying to do too much and abandon that one-through-nine approach that made us one of the better offenses in the game. We’re going to see that come back if we stay with it. We have to stay with the approach we know works and the approach that puts pressure on the opposing pitcher and it is going to come back to us if we stay with it. We recently learned that  has a stress reaction in his shoulder blade and the fact he is on the 60-day injured list means he won’t pitch until at least August. How hopeful are you that he will pitch again in 2023?

Bloom: Hopeful. Obviously, we have to see how this progresses. It is a bit of a unique injury but it’s something that there is precedent for and we're very relieved it’s not something surgical and we know it will heal. It’s really just a question of at what pace that happens and we're optimistic that will happen for him to be able to contribute again this year. One guy a lot of people are wondering about, and we’ve had dribs and drabs of updates, is . Usually a torn ACL doesn’t take this much recovery time. Alex Cora was saying he’s not really doing baseball stuff right now. What can you tell us about his condition?

Bloom: It's not that he's had a re-injury or anything like that. It's more that we haven't really been able to get him past that plateau to where we can progress him into game activity. We've been working hard to get strength back in that leg. But there's been this recurrent soreness that we haven't really been able to completely knock out. So right now, we've eased off the activity to be able to do that, and hopefully we'll be able to progress it. It's really just getting through that plateau. If we're able to get through that to where he’s feeling good, then we can get into games, but we just haven’t gotten there yet. Externally, nobody seems to think Mondesi will play this season. You seem to be more optimistic.

Bloom: Yeah, I hope so. I mean, we have to see how this goes. When we have something, when we’re ready to have a game progression, we’ll update everybody. We aren’t there yet. I don’t know a timetable. Hopefully, as we progress him forward, we’ll be able to finally get over this hump. As far as  goes, he said he could return as a DH by July and play shortstop by August. How hard is it to decide if bringing him back first as a DH is doing right by him and the team?
Bloom: I mean, first things first. It's awesome that he’s in a place where he wants those options on the table. That means he’s feeling good. That means he’s doing well. That’s the most important thing. He wants it, and that’s really good. So much of what he can do for us is his athleticism that impacts all facets of the game. That's obviously the ultimate end point. It's good to have these other things to think about in the meantime. We want to make sure we’re not doing anything that jeopardizes everything he can do.