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View from the other side: Red Sox questions for Matt Collins of Over the Monster

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Boston Red Sox Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images

The Red Sox are coming to town, for three games.

They are just off a series with the Yankees. It was a pretty intense series. They are sitting in a tie at the top of the division. They are second to the top of the league in runs scored per game. And second best in runs allowed per game.

I sent off some questions to Matt Collins manager of Over the Monster and he was nice enough to send answers back. I love the answer to the David Price question, but under advice of lawyer I’m not going to talk about “Boston Media”.

What’s going on with David Price? Is it a serious injury? And while we are talking injuries, what’s the time line on Dustin Pedrioa. At least with him out of the lineup, our TV broadcasters will only talk about him half the time.

The David Price situations is......weird. Back in April after he rolled through his first few starts of the season he got rocked in one inning against the Yankees. After leaving early he revealed he had numbness in his throwing hand but said it was nothing to worry about and that he’d been dealing with it at times for his entire life. Now, he is having those issues again and finally got them tested to reveal that he had carpal tunnel. The Boston media being what it is, the blame is being placed on Fortnite because we live in hell. Anyway, the injury doesn’t appear serious and he’s scheduled to start on Saturday, but who the hell knows what’s really going on at this point.

As for Dustin Pedroia, the team isn’t giving out any clear timeline but he is making one for himself. He’s been down in Florida rehabbing and sending videos of himself to Alex Cora every day, and he apparently says he’ll be back on May 25.

Mitch Moreland is hitting far better than ever before. What is he doing different? Can he keep this up?

There are two theories on Moreland. The first is that his toe injury last season had a massive effect on his second half, because he was great to start the year. The other is that he is just a hot starter considering this has happened for two seasons in a row. The real answer is probably somewhere in the middle. His swing seems to be very well-suited for Fenway Park so it’s not entirely surprising that he is having the most success he’s ever had since coming to Boston. He’s not going to stay this good, but it’s fair to expect him to be better than he was in Texas.

Can we have a quick scouting report on the starting pitchers we are likely to see?

Chris Sale is...well, he’s amazing. He’s been sort of easing himself into the year a bit more in 2018, so his fastball has been more consistently around 92-93 than 95-96, but he can still get it up when he needs to. The slider is deadly and his changeup always throws hitters off. Price is the big question mark right now as he’s been off over his last four or so starts. He doesn’t really have a huge arsenal these days and is mostly fastball/cutter, so he needs to be working the edges or he’s going to get rocked. Drew Pomeranz is never going to be efficient, but if his fastball is low-90s instead of high-80s he can generally get through five or six strong innings.

With recent events in Toronto we were wondering how did the Red Sox fanbase deal with the Steven Wright assault allegation?

Surprisingly well, at least from my vantage point. I’ll fully acknowledge that I’m sort of in a bubble and I have learned to tune out some of the more toxic parts of the Boston fan base, but from what I heard it seemed like people were dealing with it the best way they could.

Who is the biggest surprise of the start of the season for the Red Sox?

I think the biggest surprise has to be Moreland. We already talked about him but he came into the year looking like a bench player with Hanley Ramirez in front of him at first base, but he’s earning himself more and more playing time and he’s looking like a legitimate middle-of-the-order bat.

Biggest disappointment?

Jackie Bradley Jr., and I’m not sure it’s close. The book on Bradley has always been pretty clear in that he’s a glove-first player who will go through hot and cold streaks at the plate. The glove is still there, but it’s now been since about June of last year since he had a hot streak. The start to this season has been atrocious, and he’s been relegated to the bench more and more as the year has gone on. There’s still some hope he can flip a switch at some time soon, but it’s looking like less and less of a sure thing as time goes on.

With Farrell gone (I’m not sorry about that at all), what do you think of new managers Alex Cora? Strengths/Weaknesses?

I was one of the bigger Farrell defenders as it always seemed to me that he got all of the blame for the Red Sox’ issues but none of the credit when things went well. That being said, Cora seems like a much better fit for today’s game and this clubhouse. Boston’s roster skews young, especially on the position player side, and Cora appears to have them more engaged at least from an outside perspective. There are some things fans are still getting used to like his resting of his everyday players much more often than we’re used to, but it’s clear he has a plan and he’s much better at articulating it than Farrell ever was.