2010 Boston Red Sox Season Preview
After watching the New York Yankees win the World Series, you can bet the Boston Red Sox are ready to chase after another title.
Last year ended in major disappointment for the Red Sox, who just never seemed to put it all together and were swept by the Los Angeles Angels in the divisional playoff series.
The Red Sox saw designated hitter David Ortiz limp through much of last season, and he isn't any younger a year later.
Boston is going to need him to bounce back and have a strong 2010 if the team wants to be among the leaders in runs scored this year.
The team also got a disappointing effort from pitcher Josh Beckett, who is no longer considered the true ace of the staff.
It seems that injuries and possibly too much wear and tear on the arm is catching up to Beckett, who is still considered one of the top postseason pitchers in the history of the game.
This could be the year that new staff ace Jon Lester really takes off. He is a prime candidate to win the American League Cy Young award and become the team's undisputed top starter.
Before last year's trade deadline, the Red Sox were able to swing a deal for Cleveland Indians first baseman/catcher Victor Martinez. The Red Sox plan to use him as a catcher, and he will be a monumental upgrade over Jason Varitek, who returns as the backup.
During the offseason, the Red Sox upgraded their rotation by signing free agent pitcher John Lackey to a big contract. Lackey is a tough pitcher who has top of the rotation type stuff, but injuries are a concern.
They will certainly need a strong effort out of him if the team takes a hit offensively from the loss of left-fielder Jason Bay. Bay replaced Manny Ramirez and was considered the corner outfielder for some time to come, but the team was unwilling to match his contract demands.
The Red Sox are certainly World Series contenders and have something to prove after an embarassing effort in the playoffs, but they will have to overcome their share of shortscomings to become champions.