BOSTON (CBS) – The 2013 baseball season is less than a week away, and the Boston Red Sox are taking shape.
CBS Sports’ Baseball Insider Jon Heyman joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Gresh & Zolak on Tuesday to talk about the Red Sox, and has been very impressed with the work the starting rotation has put in this spring.
Jon Lestser and Clay Buchholz are a combined 5-0 and both have an ERA less than 1.00 (Lester at 0.90 and Buchholz at 0.96).
“I think I was underestimating (the Boston rotation),” said Heyman. “I think Lester has made some adjustments and looks terrific. Lester and Buchcholz have looked as good as just about anybody in the Grapefruit league. They’ve looked like great pitchers again. If you have them at their best, (John) Lackey coming back and being a solid pitcher, their rotation is pretty darn good.”
“I think their starting pitching is in very good shape; as good as they could have hoped for,” he said.
The numbers have not been as impressive for Lackey as he works his way back from Tommy John surgery, but Heyman still think’s he’ll give the Red Sox a solid arm in the rotation. Lackey has gone 2-0 with a 5.40 ERA in four starts this spring, but put together a solid outing last time out allowing just one run off four hits in five innings pitched.
“Not everyone can be 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA. I think they’re pleased with what they’ve seen so far,” Heyman said of Lackey. “If they get a serviceable 10-game winner they’ll be happy, and that’s possible with the way he’s looked.
The other big debate surrounding the Red Sox is whether or not Jackie Bradley Jr. will make the opening day roster. Bradley’s hit .444, wracking up 24 hits in the 24 games he’s played. If Bradley spends the first 11 days of the season in Pawtucket, the Red Sox would control him for another year. Should that matter come next week in New York?
“I’m pretty sure he’s going to stick with the team – he’s been their best player in spring training. I know he’s had limited experience at Double-A, but he really looks like he’s ready based on what we’ve seen in Spring Training,” Heyman said of Bradley. “He looks like a very, very good player, and at this point I’d be shocked if he isn’t starting in left field for the Red Sox.”
Also, how are the Rays handling their situation with outfielder Will Myers? And what can we expect from the rest of the AL East this season?