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Clay Buchholz led the Red Sox' ailing starting rotation in 2012, going 11-8 with a 4.56 ERA.
The Red Sox pitching staff of 2012 combined for an abysmal 4.70 ERA, the fourth-worst in baseball.
With Josh Beckett and Daisuke Matsuzaka gone, the fate of the 2013 Red Sox lies on the shoulders (and arms) of Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, youngster Felix Doubront and the recently acquired Ryan Dempster.
Buchholz led Boston's version of "The Expendables" last year in both record and ERA, going 11-8 with a 4.56 ERA.
Doubront pitched a winning record (11-10) in his first full-time season, while Lester was nothing short of a disaster, following up a successful 2011 (15-9), with an equally disappointing 2012 (9-14).
Lackey sat the season out recovering from Tommy John surgery and also his divorce, which caused some extra controversy for the already-disliked pitcher.
In order for the Red Sox to have any hope of competing in 2013, every single member of their rotation needs to turn up the heat.
As the most consistent starter of the bunch, Buchholz will be depended on to lead, while Lester desperately needs to reconnect with the hero that beat cancer and returned to help the Red Sox bring home a World Series championship in 2007.
All bets say that Doubront will continue to improve with experience and the Red Sox hope that Dempster plays as sharply as he did with the Cubs in 2012, before being traded to the Rangers and failing miserably.
Lackey gets the Wild Card. Before sitting out 2012, he struggled through two seasons in Boston going 26-23 with a 5.26 ERA. While fans hope that the former Angels workhorse will finally show up on Yawkey Way, chances are his best years are behind him.