Found March 28, 2013 on Ted's Army:
Baseball is finally here. While Spring Training can hold people off, many are fiending for the season to start. We're right there with you. We look forward to the brutal grind of the baseball season. The braintrust behind Ted's Army came together and put out expectations for our beloved Boston Red Sox and how they would fair in the 2013 campaign. Without further ado... I give you  the third and final part of the Ted's Army season preview. Who will be the “10th-man” of the year? Tucker Silva: Brock Holt. He will most likely not begin the year with the club, but Holt will make is way to the majors in June (I base that on absolutely nothing). In 24 games with the Pirates, Holt made a little noise batting .292. He won’t have glaring stats with the Red Sox, but he’ll develop to be a bench guy Farrell can rely on. Nick Karalis: Daniel Nava. If he sticks around the entire season, he will be a valuable asset with his newly acquired versatility to play the OF and 1B. He gives 110% every game and has the potential to put up some good offensive numbers. Aaron Gettings: CIRIACO(!!!)  Not only was he one of the only Sox players worth watching as last season was winding down, he had a knack for coming through in big spots.  While the organization was crumbling around him, Ciraco showed heart, hustle, energy, and just a general sense of fun.  Even in a reduced role, I see no reason Ciraco can't have a major impact on this Sox squad. Ben Fountain: I have to agree with Aaron and say Pedro Ciriaco. He can play anywhere on the left side of the infield, and if we're desperate in the outfield. Busts his ass and became one of the more likable players last season. If he continues to play the way he did last year, he'll be incredibly valuble to this team. Scott Priest: I'm contractually obligated to say Jose Iglesias, who should be the starting shortstop anyway. If Drew's concussions linger (and given how unpredictable concussions can be, I think we should assume they will), or if Pedroia gets hurt (as he seems to every year), I think we'll see Iglesias contribute positively to this team. Or Pedro Martinez, if Rubby is tearing up the minors. Who will be the team’s HR leader by season’s end? Tucker: Will Middlebrooks. A wrist injury halted Middlebrooks tremendous rookie season, blasting 15 HR in 75 games. By hopefully avoiding the feared “sophomore slump”, Middlebrooks and the Green Monster will be BFF’s. Prediction: 32 HRs Nick: Jarrod Saltalamacchia. We can’t count on the health of Ellsbury, Ortiz, or Napoli, so the next guy in line would be Salty.  He will probably lead the team in homers and strikeouts…if he doesn’t get traded first.  Aaron: It feels weird saying it could be anyone other than David Ortiz, but I just don't trust those wheels.  Have to give the nod to Mike Napoli.  He should be fun to watch. Ben: I'm taking David Ortiz. Even with the Achilles injury limiting him to 90 games last year, he nearly the led the team with 23 homers. He'll be on the DL starting the season but in three of the past four seasons, he got off to a slow start. I'll be optimistic and project that he'll be in the lineup by the end of April and not have any setbacks, which could be asking a bit much from the 37 year old. If all that does come to fruition, he'll be in the 28-34 home run range. Scott: Mike Napoli. I don't think Ortiz will play enough, and I don't think Ellsbury will ever hit more than 15 again. Who will lead the rotation in innings pitched? We all believe that Jon Lester will be strong for the Sox this season. Tucker: Jon Lester. Yes, he’s the “ace” of the staff. But I think that’s by default, especially after last year’s debacle. With Beckett gone, Farrell will right the ship and bring Lester back to his true ace days. Nick: Jon Lester.  Lester has had an excellent spring and will return to old form this season. He’ll cement his status as Ace. Aaron: Jon Lester. The only guy in the rotation who is a lock for 200+ innings. Ben: Jon Lester. He's looked great this spring and if this team wants to have any shot at grabbing a Wild Card spot, they need Lester to be out there every fifth day.  Scott: Jon Lester.  Which prospect from the minors will immediately help the big league club? While we all love Jackie Bradley Jr., there are other prospects that could help the Sox this season. Tucker: Allen Webster: Webster, one of the top prospects acquired in the LA Dodgers mega-deal, can throw straight heat. He has 14 K’s in 11 innings with a 1.64 ERA in Spring Training. The 23-year-old won’t be down in the minors long. Look for him to get the call early and be a solid contributor to the Red Sox bullpen. Nick: Jackie Bradley Jr. I think we can all agree Bradley will make a splash if called up this season or makes the roster to start the season.  Aaron: The rest of you can have Jackie Bradley Jr., I'm taking Jose Iglesias.  Stephen Drew may be over his concussion in time to start the season, but he'll succumb to some other malady in the meantime.  Jose will be there in the dugout, glove on, ready to take over.  Only this time, for the first time, he's swinging a hot bat. Ben: As much as I love Jose, I'll gladly take Jackie Bradley Jr. He's proven that he can live up to the hype. It's going to be fun to watch him play this season.  Scott: It's hard not to answer this with Jackie Bradley Jr.  Over/Under 84 Wins for the Red Sox. Tucker: Over: But not by much…I got them for 88 wins in 2013. This is a completely different team. I firmly believe good character guys can win you more games, which is what we’ll witness during this ride. Nick: Over – I don’t know why I have so much confidence in this team this season. I believe they can break the 90 win mark and end up in the low 90s in wins.  Aaron: Over.  The Sox are going to field a competitive team this year.  We don't need to worry about the batters and Farrell seems to have the pitching back on track. Ben: Over. I have the Sox pegged at 87 wins for them this season. I like the group of guys this team has and think they can do some damage.  Scott: Under, but just slightly. What are your predictions for the final AL East standings? Can the Red Sox return to the top of the AL East? Tucker:  Tampa Bay, Boston, Baltimore, New York, Toronto Nick:  Toronto, Boston, New York, Baltimore, Tampa Bay Aaron: Tampa 91-71             Toronto 88-74             Boston 87-75             Baltimore 84-72             New York 3-159 Ben: Tampa Bay, Boston, Toronto, New York, Baltimore Scott: Tampa, New York, Boston, Toronto, Baltimore Will the Red Sox make the playoffs? That's right. Some of are talking playoffs while others are thinking the Sox will be lucky to win enough games. Tucker: Yes.  As I stated earlier, character will carry this team. We’ll see a lot of come from behind wins, which will get the fan base stirring. Also, this starting rotation will turn some heads. We may have three potential 200+ inning pitchers (Lester, Dempster, Buchholz). Lackey will be right there too. Nick: Yes. Sox pitching is looking good this spring and it is giving me an optimistic outlook on the 2013 season. I think they have a good chance to come out with the wild card.  Aaron: No.  No they will not.  But they will put a much better product on the field this season, win a handful more games, and should start sprinkling in the younger guys as they build towards the future.   I don't see the playoffs, but I don't see 5 months of misery either. Ben: Yes. It won't be easy now that the AL West has a punching bag in the Houston Astros but they'll definitely be in contention for one of those Wild Card spots. Scott: No, but I think they'll be close enough that they won't be sellers at the deadline.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Jon Lester’s Opening Day Nod No Surprise, But Honor Symbolizes His Unrivaled Importance in 2013

Red Sox manager John Farrell surprised no one on Wednesday when he announced that Jon Lester will be the team’s Opening Day starter. But the honor bestowed upon the lefty is a microcosm of Lester’s importance. The Red Sox made a bevy of offseason moves, aimed at both retooling the roster and reshaping the team’s image. The players brought in come not only with skill sets that...

Jon Lester named Opening Day starter

John Farrell has officially named Jon Lester as the Red Sox' Opening Day starter against the New York Yankees. CSNNE: On Wednesday morning, manager John Farrell finally made it official.      "It is Jon Lester," confirmed Farrell Wednesday morning. "There's a surprise."      Farrell acknowledged that, given the way the pitchers had been...

Red Sox: Jon Lester to Start on Opening Day

[caption id="attachment_59273" align="alignnone" width="620"] Fans will be pouring into ballparks across America on Opening Day.[/caption]     April 1st is just around the corner. It marks the first day of April as well as the first day of the regular season for Major League Baseball. In some parts of the country it may still feel like winter. As a...

Marlins 5, Red Sox 1

Jon Lester prepared for his opening day start by pitching four scoreless innings for the Boston Red Sox in a 4-1 loss Wednesday to the Miami Marlins. Red Sox manager John Farrell announced before the game that Lester would start Monday at Yankee Stadium against New York. The left-hander then gave up just two hits, striking out four without a walk. Kevin Slowey, the Marlins'...

Red Sox Five Man Rotation Set, Lester To Start Opening Day

John Farrell made the seemingly obvious news official on Wednesday – Jon Lester would take the mound opposing the Yankees C.C. Sabathia on Opening Day, Monday, April 1st at Yankee Stadium. It will be Lester’s third consecutive Opening Day start for the team, though this one might have the most significance for the 29-year old lefty given the mighty struggles he dealt with last...

Jon Lester Announced as Red Sox’ Opening Day Starter

When the Red Sox face the Yankees on April 1, we won’t see familiar faces like Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira or Curtis Granderson, but we know who will be pitching to the no-name Yankees. The Red Sox announced Jon Lester will be the Opening Day starter. Lester has had a fantastic spring with a 0.90 ERA, 0.500 WHIP, 16 strikeouts and just four walks in 20 innings. Lester...

Clay Buchholz’s Spring Dominance Another Sign That Red Sox’ Pitching Staff Looks Poised for Big Year

Jon Lester is Boston’s Opening Day starter, and he’s the pitching staff’s incumbent leader. Clay Buchholz looks equally as motivated, though, and the Red Sox really couldn’t have asked for much more out of the duo this spring. A day after Lester closed the book on his spring with another solid outing, Buchholz capped off his impressive preseason with four scoreless innings...

Kevin Slowey leads Marlins past Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) -- Jon Lester prepared for his opening day start by pitching four scoreless innings for the Boston Red Sox in a 4-1 loss Wednesday to the Miami Marlins. Red Sox manager John Farrell announced before the game that Lester would start Monday at Yankee Stadium against New York. The left-hander then gave up just two hits, striking out four without a walk. Kevin...

Red Sox-Marlins Live: Jackie Bradley Jr. to Lead Off As Jon Lester Gets Final Spring Tune-Up

11:42 a.m.: The lineup cards are in, and Red Sox fans will get another glimpse of Jackie Bradley Jr. This time, the hot-hitting outfielder will lead off for the hometown club. Bradley didn’t record a hit on Tuesday, but that’s simply because the Red Sox had an off-day. Otherwise, Bradley probably would have been good for at least a couple. (If the rest of the spring is any indication...

Vote: What Is the Best Boston Sports Rivalry Right Now?

The Bruins match up Wednesday night against the Montreal Canadiens in one of the city’s most storied rivalries. The B’s will try to try to keep some consistency heading closer to playoffs, and a win against the Habs could be just the confidence boost they need. Just around the corner, on Red Sox Opening Day, the Sox will take on the Yankees with Jon Lester as their starting pitcher...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.