In just over two weeks, the 2013 season will open with a bang for the Boston Red Sox as they head to New York for a three game series with their perennial nemesis, the Yankees. Let’s not ease into the season or anything like that…geez.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised this spring with the performances by most of the pitching staff. What I’m imagining to be the starting rotation has been solid—with the exception of John Lackey, but I’m giving him a pass for now. He better step it up a notch once the games start to count though. I have high hopes for Mr. Lackey in 2013.
My starting five:
#1 – Jon Lester
I assume the self-proclaimed Ace will be on the mound for Opening Day. He has had a solid spring allowing just two runs over 14 total innings and striking out 10. Lester has a lot to prove after such a disappointing 2012 where he struggled to a 9-14 record. Spring ERA: 1.28
#2 – Clay Buchholz
Clay has been nothing short of masterful in Grapefruit play, allowing no runs in his 8.1 innings of work. If he keeps this up, there might just be some competition for that “Ace” title. At least he had a winning record last year. Spring ERA: 0.00
#3 – Felix Doubront
If Felix continues down the road he’s been on in Florida, he should have no problems securing the #3 spot in the rotation. He has pitched 8.2 innings, allowing two runs while striking out 11. Spring ERA: 2.08
#4 – Ryan Dempster
If Dempster was signed to replace Dice K, I would say it’s a giant improvement based on his performance so far. But then again, if you’re looking at the last couple of season, Coco the monkey would’ve been an upgrade over Matsuzaka. Dempster has pitched 12.2 innings, allowing three runs and striking out nine. Spring ERA: 2.13
#5 – John Lackey
After missing all of 2012 recovering from surgery, Lackey has the most to prove. And while I expected him to get off to a slow start, this is a little ridiculous. He has allowed six runs in 6.2 innings—obviously, he still has some work to do. Spring ERA: 8.10
A few of the rookies, Anthony Carter and Allen Webster, have been impressive. Carter, who came from the White Sox organization, hasn’t allowed an earned run in 7.1 innings. Webster, a product of the Dodgers system, has pitched 11 innings, allowing three runs and striking out 14! Webster has been assigned to Pawtucket, but would be available should anything happen.
All in all, based on what’s happened so far, I would say the starting rotation is in good shape. Nothing spectacular, but I think they can hold their own if everyone can stay healthy and keep their head in the game. Although I highly doubt John Farrell will let the heads be anywhere else…