Red Sox Still No. 1 Despite April Struggles

Laura DePietroContributor IApril 23, 2008

Given the amount of injuries, sicknesses and slow starts plaguing the Red Sox so far this year, you might think that they would be struggling or fumbling through the first part of the season.

Think again.

Perhaps having started the season in Japan and then continuing to travel like crazy  from LA to Toronto had the Red Sox disjointed at the start of the season.

"Big Papi" David Ortiz started the year with surprisingly low numbers which is not like the power hitter. In one quick play, Mike Lowell injured his thumb which took him out of the game. The flu has spread throughout the ball club and pitchers are missing their starts because of it.

Yet despite all of these obstacles, the Red Sox are winning games and winning consistently and find themselves at No. 1 in the AL East.

Contributions made by young players have been spectacular. Jacoby Ellsbury is a force both defensively and offensively, already with his first two home runs of the year. He's got speed and he consistently makes plays in the outfield.

Dustin Pedroia continues on his Rookie of the Year status, hitting .364. While captain Jason Varitek has been sick and unable to play, Kevin Cash has stepped right into the catcher role.

Clay Buchholz was off to a bit of a shaky start, but got his stuff back against Texas for his first win.

Jed Lowrie has been a valuable addition coming up from the minors. Hitting .375, Jed has already has six Major League hits and five RBI; not bad for the new guy.

Even Big Papi is coming back. He had a  grand slam home run against the Rangers last Friday, April 18.

So while we miss the big name players and wait for them to get healthy, we certainly are enjoying the support of young guns. Keep up the good work Red Sox. The Nation is behind you.