Originally posted on Fenway West  |  Last updated 2/14/12

Pitchers and catchers do not have to report to spring training until February 19th but Lester, Beckett, Doubront, Alex Wilson and others have already begun working out.  As the Red Sox camp gets underway there are a few big questions that will need to be answered in the coming months.

The back end of the rotation.  Lester, Beckett, and Buchholz provide a solid front end of the rotation, after that it gets sketchy.  Lackey is out for the season and Dice-K will miss the first half.  Roy Oswalt is still out there but his $10 million asking price might be a bridge too far for John Henry and Co. when you factor in the luxury tax.  Bard is going to try to make the transition to a starter and Aceves also wants to join him.  If either one of them falters this spring the door will be open for Arron Cook, Vicente Padilla, or Carlos Silva to possibly land a spot in the rotation.

Shortstop.  Jose Iglesias is the shortstop of the future but is he ready for the Show?  Ideally the Sox would give him some more time in the minors but this would mean going with Mike Aviles or Nick Punto and getting less offense out of the position from a year ago.

Right Field.  J.D. Drew is gone and his position will likely be filled with a platoon situation.  The Sox picked up Ryan Sweeney and Cody Ross during the winter.  Darnell McDonald will also be in the mix, making this one of the best battles of the spring.  Kalish will likely miss spring training as he recovers from shoulder surgery.  

Catcher.  Salty will have to become more consistent at the plate if he wants to hold down the starting position.  Lavarnway was great in the minors last year and could easily become the starting catcher with a solid spring.  The Red Sox also have Kelly Shoppach if they want to keep three catchers or if they want to give Lavarnway more time in the minors.

Bullpen.  With Pap shipping down to Philly and Bard joining the rotation, the bullpen is a big question mark.  The Red Sox traded for Mark Melancon and Andrew Bailey which should lead to a solid 8th and 9th inning combo.  For middle relief, the Red Sox have a slew of pitchers competing for spots.  One interesting thing to watch is where Bobby Jenks fits into the mix.  Will he compete for a late inning spot or will he be relegated to middle relief with Albers and the rest?

The competition for spots and the new faces should help the Red Sox quickly move away from the collapse at the end of the 2011 as they try to build a championship team caliber team for the 2012 season.

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