The Boston Red Sox are heading into the 2013 MLB season with an incredibly bitter taste in their mouth. Although they have had a successful offseason, the Red Sox fan base is still upset about the 69-93 season that the 2012 club turned in.
For the first time in a decade, Theo Epstein was not the teams general manager and the Sox seemed to forget how to play the game of baseball in his absence. Boston ranked 26th in the league in pitching as they finished the season with a 4.70 team ERA and yielded 190 home runs. The pitching staff was a point of emphasis for the Sox this offseason, but they went under-the-radar and decided to pass on candidates like Zack Greinke.
Instead, new manager John Farrell will have Ryan Dempster in the starting rotation as the 15-year veteran hopes to bring some stability to an inconsistent pitching staff. Just like Dempster hopes to sure up the rotation, Joel Hanrahan is now in charge of reviving a Boston bullpen that was abysmal last season. The Pittsburgh Pirates dealt Hanrahan to Boston this offseason after he was dominate for the club in both 2011 and 2012–in his last two seasons with the Pirates Hanrahan saved a combined 76 games. In addition, Andrew Bailey will also be a factor this season after missing a lot of time last year because of a thumb injury. If Bailey can stay healthy this bullpen could be one of the best in the MLB.
Farrell has his hands full with this team and the age factor may play a key down the stretch. In fact, David Ortiz is already missing time with an injured heel that may sideline him for opening day.