BOSTON (CBS) — Every week on Monday night, Dan Roche and Tony Massarotti will bring you beyond the highlights in a new segment called “Inside Baseball” on the WBZ-TV News at 10pm on myTV38!

In the first edition of “Inside Baseball,” Rochie and Mazz took a look at the durability of Boston’s starting rotation.

All too often last season, Red Sox starters weren’t able to go deep into their starts, placing unneeded strain on to the Boston bullpen. With no clear-cut ace in the rotation, this is once again a big concern heading into 2015.

In Clay Buchholz (named Boston’s Opening Day starter over the weekend), Rick Porcello, Wade Miley, Justin Masterson and Joe Kelly, the Red Sox have a rotation with a lot of upside, but just as many question marks. Of those five, only Miley has a sub-4.00 ERA and has averaged over 180 innings pitched over the last three seasons.

“The problem is Miley’s ERA was in the NL West, where there are big ballparks and no DH,” said Mazz. “So you don’t know if that’s going to translate.

“These guys are going to have to get deep into games, and when I say deep I mean six innings,” added Mazz. “You have to take pressure off the bullpen. Whether or not they’re able to do that is key.”

Rochie points to the youth in Boston’s rotation as a big factor for the upcoming season.

“They’re all between the age of 26 and 30, which I think bodes well,” said Rochie. “Miley and Porcello can eat up innings, and Masterson, if healthy, can do the same thing. The key has got to be Buchholz – can he be The Guy and stay healthy? Three of the last five years he’s thrown 170 innings, but he’s struggled along the way in those other seasons with injuries.”

While Buchholz was named their Opening Day starter, Mazz thinks Porcello fits the “Ace” mold the best on Boston’s staff.

“To me, Porcello is about the closest thing you have there in terms of someone who is durable and young,” said Mazz. “He’s the closest thing, to me, that they have to an ace.”

Do the Red Sox need an ace this season? Mazz said not to win the AL East and potentially another pennant, but if they want to add another World Series title, it’s something they’ll have to address.

“To win in the AL and AL East this year, my answer is no. But to win a championship they’re going to need something closer to the high end,” he said.

Rochie and Mazz also take a look at what the Boston lineup should look like with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez. Catch “Inside Baseball” every Monday night during the baseball season on the WBZ-TV News at 10 on myTV38.


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