Photo Credit: Matt Stone / Boston Herald

The Red Sox hired a familiar face in Alex Cora. After offseason moves, the front office will see what he brings to the table.

The manager evaluation process can often times be a tricky situation. As seen with John Farrell, winning back-to-back AL East titles won’t always guarantee job security. A successful manager is one that maximizes the talent that he has at his disposal.

John Farrell’s downfalls went beyond merely getting wins and losses. He often wasn’t creative with the lineup, mismanaged the bullpen, and largely didn’t get the production out of high quality players. There was a large disconnect within the Red Sox clubhouse.

Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts both mentioned issues within the clubhouse over the past few seasons when speaking with the Boston Globe.

The disconnect ultimately led to Farrell’s firing and the entry of player-friendly Alex Cora. The young Houston Astros were singing his praises as a mentor, friend, and reliable presence that molded them into stars. Carlos Correa, Lance McCullers, Jose Altuve, and others have credited Cora with individual success.

In World Series-winning seasons, the Red Sox have boasted a heavy amount of camaraderie. ’04, ’07, ’13 were all different rosters, but similarly relied on a sense of trust with each other – a factor that wasn’t present in 2017. Under new management, the Red Sox will look to capitalize on their talent.

Heading into 2018, the Red Sox roster is littered with All Star caliber players and youth that would make any managerial candidate drool. Over the past few seasons, Boston has been the heavy favorites to win the AL East, but things will likely be different when Opening Day rolls around.

The New York Yankees are back. The rivalry (hopefully) is back. The pressure is on the Red Sox.

The first season for Cora will likely have ups and downs. There is no doubt that with little-to-no managerial experience there will be occasional mishaps in managing situations. Matt Barnes / Heath Hembree will enter a game with no business being in the situation. Sandy Leon will hit in a key situation with better options presents. Mistakes are bound to happen.

Despite rookie mistakes, Cora will get a true evaluation for what he can do with the cabinet stocked full of talent. The pieces are there, but will he be able to get maximum potential out of them? That is the key piece to evaluation.

If Alex Cora can get the full potential out of this Red Sox lineup & pitching staff then there is little doubt that the Red Sox will be World Series challengers in 2018.