MLB

5 things to know about the Red Sox going into camp

Share This Story

   
 

BOSTON (AP)

Five things to know about the Boston Red Sox as they start spring training camp:

STOCKED WITH STARTERS: Begin with Jon Lester. Then continue with Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Jake Peavy, Felix Doubront and Ryan Dempster. The Red Sox are loaded with solid veteran starters and promising youngsters Brandon Workman, Allen Webster and others awaiting their turns. Lester is set to make $13 million in the final year of his contract and says he'd like to sign an extension during spring training. ''I want to be here until they have to rip this jersey off my back,'' he said. Lester pitched a career-high 213 1-3 innings last year with a 15-8 record and 3.75 ERA. He went 4-1 in the postseason, capped by a 2-0 record and 0.59 ERA in Boston's World Series victory over the St. Louis Cardinals.

DEEP LINEUP: The Red Sox lost speedy Jacoby Ellsbury, their outstanding leadoff hitter, to the New York Yankees in free agency, but the heart of their lineup remains with David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Mike Napoli. New catcher A.J. Pierzynski has been better offensively than the player he replaces, Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Xander Bogaerts contributed as a rookie after coming up late in the season and started all six World Series games at third base. The Red Sox led the majors in runs and were second in batting average.

CENTER OF ATTENTION: With Ellsbury gone, the Red Sox are pinning their hopes on young Jackie Bradley Jr. or Grady Sizemore to fill the gap in center field. Bradley had an excellent 2013 spring training but faltered after that and spent most of the season in the minors. Sizemore missed the past two seasons after operations on his right knee and back but was an All-Star from 2006-08. If both struggle, the Red Sox could move Shane Victorino from right field to center and fill the corner spots with returnees Daniel Nava, Jonny Gomes and Mike Carp.

WHAT A RELIEF: As if having closer Koji Uehara and setup men Junichi Tazawa and Craig Breslow wasn't enough, the Red Sox added Edward Mujica to their bullpen. Mujica was an All-Star last season when he had 37 saves and a career-best 2.78 ERA with St. Louis. A rough September cost him his closer's role and he pitched only two postseason innings. He provides insurance for Uehara, who turns 39 on April 3. Last season, his first with Boston, Uehara was 4-1 with a 1.09 ERA. In 74 1-3 innings, he had 101 strikeouts and allowed just nine walks and 33 hits.

BYE-BYE BEARDS: The bushy beards that blossomed as the Red Sox drove to their championship are on their way out. Gomes planned to ditch his before spring training. Ortiz and Victorino cut theirs off in a charity event shortly after the World Series. Growing the beard ''was a pretty cool experience,'' Gomes said. ''We want to bottle it up and enjoy it.'' Manager John Farrell said the Red Sox agreed ''that when we get on the field we'll be cleaned up.''

Tagged: Red Sox, Yankees, Jonny Gomes, Jon Lester, Koji Uehara

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



MLB Videos

Bautista talks Derek Jeter's final All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Jose Bautista discusses Derek Jeter's career and his final appearance in the MLB...

Jeter honored to play in last All-Star Game Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Derek Jeter compares his first All-Star Game experience with his last, Mike Trou...

Matheny defends Wainwright: He's out there to compete Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Mike Matheny comments on the media's reaction to Adam Wainwright's joke about le...

SimLeague Baseball - Simulation Baseball Game

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Yankees/browse/featuredproduct/606363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_606000/ff_606363_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike New York Yankees Practice T-Shirt - Ash
    Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/1064043/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1064000/ff_1064043_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic Detroit Tigers 2012 MLB American League Champions Clubhouse Locker Room..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room T-Shirt - Gray http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067359/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067359_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room Pullover Hoodie - Steel http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067382/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067382_xl.jpg&w=100 54.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker R..
    New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Room 39THIRTY Flex Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1067785/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1067000/ff_1067785_xl.jpg&w=100 31.95 New Era San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Clubhouse Locker Ro..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068294/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068294_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Glory T-Shirt - Bl..
    Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice Performance Jersey - Black/Orange http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_San_Francisco_Giants/browse/featuredproduct/1068787/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1068000/ff_1068787_xl.jpg&w=100 94.95 Majestic San Francisco Giants 2012 MLB World Series Champions Batting Practice P..