Olney: Frustrated Red Sox nearing time for tough choices

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CLEVELAND -- In a first month of mostly bad days, the Boston Red Sox had a good day Friday. Mookie Betts swung confidently, aggressively, and as he told reporters afterward, it felt good to square up a ball again. Rafael Devers started a sweet double play, and the Boston bullpen was excellent, contributing 3⅔ scoreless innings against the Rays, the team the Red Sox are chasing in the AL East.

On Saturday, however, the Red Sox learned that they will be without World Series hero Nathan Eovaldi for the foreseeable future because of elbow trouble. It's possible that the Red Sox, who won 119 games last season, will climb their way back to contention; Boston's offense might be too good to remain dormant for very much longer.

But if the problems persist, if Chris Sale's command remains spotty and the team's drift continues, Boston's management will have a choice to make in midseason about whether to become sellers and begin to focus on 2020.