With opening day upon us, the Boston Red Sox will attempt to recover from their first losing season since 1997 and their worst season since 1965. With many additions, a few subtracts and a coaching staff, the Red Sox have made the changes needed, but will it be enough in 2013.
The Red Sox added Ryan Dempster, Joel Hanrahan and Koji Uehara to the pitching staff, in addition to the return of John Lackey from tommy john surgery. Dempster gives the starting rotation a much need lift in innings pitched and a veteran experience. Hanrahan and Uehara in the bullpen give the coaching staff options after the starting pitcher is pulled and keep the lead.
To the batting order, the Red Sox added Jonny Gomes, Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Stephen Drew and David Ross. It was the team’s goal to added character players to the clubhouse and the additions are exactly that. Additionally, the team called up prospects Jackie Bradley Jr. and Jose Iglesias to start the season, at least while David Ortiz and Stephen Drew are on the disabled list.
After a horrendous season in 2012, the Red Sox replaced Bobby Valentine with John Farrell. His pitching knowledge and respect from the organization and players, will give him every opportunity succeed at Fenway Park.
In 2013, the American League East will be one of the toughest divisions in the MLB, giving the Red Sox even more competition. A new look Toronto Blue Jays, improved Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles will all be tough teams to face, but the Red Sox have a team that can play with anyone. Although the AL East is a tough division, the addition of the extra wildcard spot will give the team a good chance to make the postseason.
In a best case scenerio, the Red Sox can finish with a 91-71 record and make a deep postseason run. On the other hand, they could finish 76-86 record and miss the playoffs for another season.
The Red Sox start their season in New York against the New York Yankees on Apr. 1 and will visit Fenway Park on Apr. 8 for their home opener.
Baseball season is upon us, let’s “Play Ball!”