Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/21/12
The Red Sox hired a familiar face to manage the 2013 team, but will their past pitching success return as well? John Farrell will make his return to Boston as the new manager of the Red Sox. In his previous stint in Beantown, Farrell served as the pitching coach under then manager Terry Francona from 2007-2011. In his first year with the team, the Red Sox pitching staff was second in Major Legaue Baseball with a 3.87 ERA, and also second in shutouts with 13. They won their second World Series in three years with a sweep over the Colorado Rockies. The Red Sox pitching staff never had a team ERA higher than 4.35 in his five years with Boston, and the team qualified for the playoffs in three straight years before their recent streak of postseason absences. Now, the question remains if his magic touch will come back from Toronto. The Red Sox team ERA was 4.70 in 2012, the fourth-worst mark in all of baseball. With Farrell returning, will Jon Lester return to his ace status? Will John Lackey's return signify a turning point in the right-hander's Boston career? And will the bullpen regroup from a disastrous season to help save a struggling team from another sub-.500 season? What do you think? Will Farrell's hiring dramatically change the Red Sox pitching staff? Will the Red Sox pitching staff improve dramatically with John Farrell as manager?

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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