Red Sox Spring Traing officially starts in a few days and WBZ-TV’s Dan Roche will be in Fort Myers covering all that’s going on.

Roche spoke with Toucher & Rich about his recent sit down with former Sox manager Terry Francona, the Sox pitching rotation, shortstop and Carl Crawford.

After the epic collapse of the Red Sox in September the Red Sox let Terry Francona go. Roche recently sat down with the former manager and talked about the team.

Is he bitter about getting let go and how is he handling things?

“He kind of seems a bit lost right now. He’s 52 years old and he sat their and said this will be my first time i haven’t gone to a Spring Training in 32 years in baseball.”

“I think right now it’s tough for him, but I think in the long run he definitely will feel better about everything.”

Everyone had hoped that the Sox would try to improve their pitching, which was a big reason for the September collapse. Unfortunately the Sox were quiet this offseason not making any big moves.

What will the pitching rotation look like?

“You start with Lester, Beckett, Buchholz and you hope that everything’s fine as far as the health especially of Beckett and Buchholz. Then they’re going to give it a shot with Daniel Bard at least through Spring Training unless he comes to them and says I can’t do this a la Papelbon a few years ago. Then you’re going to have to sneak somebody into that five hole, now granted you may start the season in April and kind of maybe skip over that spot, but can it be an Alfredo Aceves, can it be Vicente Padilla, can it be someone like that and then they’ll continue the search. I think this is going to be a work in progress this year with this roster.”

Another position where the Sox are lacking is at shortstop. Jose Iglesias could be an option they go with right now, but what of the argument that he can’t hit major league pitching?

“That’s one of those questions where they might throw him into the fire. If he has a great spring they might throw him in and say let’s see if he can hit major league pitching.”

Carl Crawford underwent wrist surgery in the offseason and reports are that he will miss the first few weeks of the season. Once he returns will he ever return to the player he once was?

“I think this story has been really downplayed in this market. I think this is a major story is to how good he’ll ever be again, but also how good he’ll be in 2012 in being able to help the Red Sox.”



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