CHICAGO --- The Boston Red Sox won 108 games last season, then blitzed all comers during an October run to their fourth World Series title of the 21st century. They did all that despite a couple of odd-looking holes on their performance grid. Ranked by WAR, their second basemen in 2019 were 29th in total output, their catchers and third basemen even worse, finishing 30th.
It's something weird and wonderful that a team could rank in the bottom two at three different positions and still power its way to a championship. It's also a bit misleading in some ways, but the bottom line is that as good as the Red Sox were, there was actually room for improvement. So far this season, Boston's catchers have hit better -- a low bar to clear -- to rank 16th, and third baseman Rafael Devers has demonstrated a more consistent approach at the plate to help elevate the Sox's hot corner production to 12th overall. But second base -- where Dustin Pedroia continues to battle knee trouble and Eduardo Nunez has had both health and performance issues -- remains a sore spot.
That brings us to Michael Chavis, Boston's merciless basher of a rookie, who might just be the missing link in the Red Sox's climb back to prime contention.