Red Sox start spring training: 3 early questions

Jon Lester is looking for a bounce-back year after a brutal 2012.
Jon Lester is looking for a bounce-back year after a brutal 2012.

 

While winter is in full force in the Boston area, the Red Sox are enjoying sunny Florida as they prepare for the 2013 season. Coming off of their worst season in more than 40 years, the team cannot wait to get on the field and play games for real, but before they do there are a few questions that need to be answered:

How will John Farrell take control of the team?
Looking back at 2012, Bobby Valentine lost his team during spring training. During the year the Mike Aviles incident in Fort Myers became public and it was Alfredo Aceves announcing he would be the closer – not Valentine or a member of the organization – among other things. It was apparent the communication amongst the team just wasn’t there from the get-go.
It should be different for Farrell who already has the respect of many of the players from when he was the Red Sox pitching coach for four seasons (’07-10). Farrell is a no-nonsense type of guy who expects the most out of his players, but is also a manager players respect.

Will the starting pitching hold up?
Going into spring training, the Red Sox starting rotation looks to be Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Felix Doubront and Ryan Dempster. In past years the team has entered spring training with an abundance of starting pitchers. That isn’t the case this season as only Franklin Morales and Alfredo Aceves are others who have real major league starting experience. The more likely scenario is that Morales and Aceves will be in the bullpen as long relievers.
First and foremost the group will need to stay healthy, but also produce. Lester and Buchholz are coming off, arguably, the worst years of their respective careers, while Lackey missed the entire season because of Tommy John surgery.

Can the newcomers make immediate impacts?
Although the Red Sox didn’t make any blockbuster signings or trades this offseason, the team did add some quality players to the roster, and for the team to be successful these new players will need to contribute.
First baseman Mike Napoli will need to stay healthy and hit like he did in 2011 when he batted .320 with 30 home runs. Outfielders Shane Victorino and Jonny Gomes are expected to put up decent numbers, along with being leaders in the clubhouse.
Finally, the bullpen could be one of the biggest strengths of the team assuming newly acquired arms Joel Hanrahan and Koji Uehara pitch well.

Follow Metro Boston Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter: @hannable84


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon preview: Elite American, International runners…

2014 Boston Marathon: Elite American, International runners to watch

NBA

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams…

2014 NBA Finals odds: Ranking which playoff teams have the best shot at a championship. The Thunder, Clippers, Heat and Rockets lead the way.

NFL

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

2014 Patriots, full NFL schedule release date announced

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.