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
National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Local

New York joins accord to strengthen popular vote…

New York State joined a nationwide effort that would gives the state's 29 electoral votes for president to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

NBA

Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.