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With the chaos of the last 18 months firmly in the past, Boston will try and get things back on track in 2013, which, while it may not include a return to the postseason, will certainly include a return to respectability.
Much of the team's success—or lack thereof—will be tied to the starting rotation.
You simply don't know what you can count on from John Lackey, who missed all of 2012 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, so let's take him out of the equation for a second.
Of the remaining four pitchers in the rotation, Clay Buchholz, Ryan Dempster, Felix Doubront and Jon Lester, the group pitched to a combined 1.98 ERA and 0.94 WHIP this spring, walking 23 and striking out 78 over 86.1 innings of work.
Buccholz and Lester went 6-0 with a 0.77 ERA and 0.64 WHIP in 46.2 innings of work, while Dempster and Doubront had a combined 3.40 ERA and 1.29 WHIP, throwing 39.2 innings.
There's enough talent on the rotation for the team's regular season numbers to resemble what the Double-D's put together this spring, but the inconsistent performances of the past make you think twice about the group being able to put it all together at the same time.
With youngsters like Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster waiting in the wings, early struggles could force the team's hand and find one of those starters throwing out of the bullpen.