In many ways, the first third of the baseball season has gone quite well for the Boston Red Sox. They were a last-place team in 2022, and expectations for a similar result this season were quite similar.

However, the acquisition of Justin Turner has been quite helpful and the return to form of starting pitcher Chris Sale have helped the Red Sox put together a winning record. The American League East is the most powerful division in baseball, so they are not close to the first-place Tampa Bay Rays, but they are playing winning baseball for manager Alex Cora.

However, there are a couple of players on the team that are driving Red Sox Nation towards frustration. Triston Casas is supposed to be a young phenom at first base and general manager Chaim Bloom earmarked veteran hurler Corey Kluber as a pitching mainstay.

There are significant problems with both players.

Triston Casas

When it comes to Casas, Red Sox fans have been hearing about this 23-year-old for a couple of years as being a future gamebreaker because of his immense power. Casas certainly looks the part, as he checks in at 6-4 and 252 pounds.

Casas has the size to be the team's slugging first baseman, and he also has the kind of make up that many baseball executives like because he has a good eye and the patience to draw bases on balls on a frequent basis.

But when it comes to aggression in the batter's box, Casas seems to be lacking in a big way. Even though he can drive the ball a long way when he makes solid contact, he is much too willing to take close pitches because they don't look perfect.

Casas came up for a brief cup of coffee last season, but he has been the starting first baseman all season. Since he plays a position where much is expected from big leaguers, his performance thus far has been quite disappointing.

Casas is slashing .197/.321/.379 with 6 home runs and 16 RBI. In addition to those numbers, Casas has struck out 43 times in 159 plate appearances and 132 at bats. He has walked 25 times, but it is not the kind of production the Red Sox need to contend for a playoff position.

In addition to the lack of production, Casas also has a laid-back personality. It seems that he is the kind of player who is not going to up the intensity in the big moments.

He may need to make an attitude adjustment if he is ever going to meet the expectations of driven Red Sox fans.

Corey Kluber

There is little doubt that Kluber has had a brilliant career and has been an outstanding American League pitcher throughout the majority of his 13-year career.

However, Kluber was at his best during his first 9 years when he was the mainstay of the Cleveland pitching staff.

Since leaving that franchise after the 2019 season, Kluber has not been nearly as effective due to age and injuries. The 37-year-old pitcher has been with the Texas Rangers, New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays. He had a 10-10 record with Tampa Bay last season, along with a 4.34 earned run average in 164.0 innings.

Bloom saw enough from Kluber to bring him aboard and put him in the Boston rotation, but he has not delivered. He is 2-6 with a 6.26 ERA in 41.2 innings of work this season, and opponents have hit him hard. He has given up 11 home runs, and his lack of effectiveness has led Red Sox manager Alex Cora to drop him from the rotation.

Kluber no has to prove himself from the bullpen, but it's clear that Red Sox fans don't have confidence in a pitcher who has won a pair of Cy Young Awards and 3 All-Star appearances.

Those achievements were in the past, and he may no longer be capable of getting tough big league hitters out on a consistent basis.