I have not been picking up many Topps Now cards this year, but sometimes, I need to make an exception. And one of those times is now:
On July 29, 2018, newly acquired starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi shut down the Twins in his Red Sox debut. He was incredibly efficient, throwing just 82 pitches over seven innings. Eovaldi had been acquired for minor league pitcher Jalen Beeks a few days previous. I am always concerned when Boston acquires players during the season that they will appear on any cards. So I grab them when they pop up, and this was one I did not even have to think about. Eovaldi may yet appear in Topps Update, in fact he probably will, but just in case he doesn't, I have this card. Addison Reed, Boston's major deadline pickup last year, never appeared in a Red Sox uniform on cardboard, so you just never know.
That is not all that came in.
Hanley Ramirez got off to a hot start in 2015, but hit a wall, literally and figuratively, and his numbers declined sharply the rest of the season. He was terrific in 2016 though, hitting the 30 homer and 100 RBI marks. The next season he declined again and, after a decent start to 2018, again declined and was released. His numbers in Boston ended up being .260/.326/.450 with 78 home runs and 255 RBIs over four seasons.
As bad as Hanley Ramirez was during his time in Boston (not counting 2016), Pablo Sandoval was much worse. Sandoval could barely stay on the field, much less produce with the bat, and he was terrible defensively. He played less than a full season's worth of games stretched out over parts of three seasons. He was only reasonably healthy in his first full season with the Red Sox, but hit a paltry .245 with just 10 home runs. And that was his best season. His numbers in Boston ended up being .237/.286/.360 with 14 home runs and 59 RBIs. He was released in 2017.
The best player of these three ended up being Rick Porcello, who is still in the Red Sox rotation, so his numbers are not yet complete. Porcello also got off to a rocky start in Boston, finishing with a 9-15 record and a 4.92 ERA. He turned it around in a big way though, winning the Cy Young Award in 2016 with a 22-4 record and 3.15 ERA and recording 189 strikeouts. But then, in 2017 he led the league in losses with 17. This year, he has been acceptable, with a 15-5 record and a 4.04 ERA but shows flashes of his 2016 brilliance.
None of these three ended up being quite what Boston had hoped when they were acquired, other than that glorious 2016 season for Ramirez and Porcello. Only Porcello is still with the team and both of the other two were unceremoniously released. Too bad.