MLB 2013 Preview: Boston Red Sox

Boston did improve, but did they do enough to get out of the cellar in 2013? Photo: Jon Lester/AP

LOS ANGELES, March 11, 2013 — The Boston Red Sox had an interesting 2012 after starting the year on the heels of one of the worst collapses to end the 2011 season. Expectations were high going into 2012, but those were quickly dashed when the team continued to play poorly and eventually finished in last place with a 69-93 record.

The Red Sox were handed a gift from the Dodgers in August when Los Angeles agreed to take on most of their big contracts to underperforming players, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett. In return the Dodgers also gave them two very hard throwing pitching prospects in Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster. De La Rosa will be in the rotation after a few bad John Lackey starts.

Boston still has a lot of work to do to get back to where they were when they won two World Series titles in the first decade of the 2000s. They did add some offense to improve from last year, but will depend heavily on the health of David Ortiz and Mike Napoli.

The Boston rotation will look a lot better once John Lackey is out of there, but when you pay a guy $15 million, you kind of have to play him until he gets his ERA above 5.00 or injures himself. Both are possibilities, which could happen very quickly with Lackey.

David Ortiz watches his ball fly/AP

Projected payroll: $154,415,500

Notable Players Out: RF Cody Ross, 1B James Loney, RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka, RHP Aaron Cook

Notable Players In: 1B Mike Napoli, RH Shane Victorino, SS Stephen Drew, LF Jonny Gomes, RHP Ryan Dempster, RHP Joel Hanrahan, RHP Koji Uehara

Prospect Watch: SS/3B Xander Bogaerts and RHP Rubby De La Rosa

Highlight Hitter: DH David Ortiz (ZiPS 2013 Projections: .294/.389/.558 23 HR/56 R/62 RBI)

Highlight Pitcher: LHP Jon Lester (ZiPS Projections: 14-9, 3.97 ERA, 8.27 K/9, 188.3 IP)

Projected Lineup: C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, 1B Mike Napoli, 2B Dustin Pedroia, 3B Will Middlebrooks, SS Stephen Drew, LF Jonny Gomes, CF Jacoby Ellsbury, RF Shane Victorino, DH David Ortiz

Projected Rotation: LHP Jon Lester, RHP Clay Bucholz, RHP Ryan Dempster, LHP Felix Doubront, RHP John Lackey

Projected Closer: RHP Joel Hanrahan

Manager: John Farrell

Projected 2013 Finish in AL West: 1. TBA  2. TBA  3. TBA  4. TBA  5. Boston Red Sox

Kevin J. Wells writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music.  Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Kevin J Wells

Kevin J. Wells was born and raised in the Los Angeles area in a town called Montrose.  He currently plays guitar for and is a founding member of the Los Angeles punk rock band Emmer Effer.  He has worked in a number of different career fields including Behavioral Therapy, Commodities, Insurance, and most recently a food cart in Portland, OR. Kevin has been both a sports and entertainment columnist and editor for The Washington Times Communities since January 2013.

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