by Sammy Washburn 3-30-14
It won’t be easy, but there’s always a chance.
The Boston Red Sox are looking to defend their World Series championship and be the first team since the 2000 New York Yankees team to win back-to-back titles. 19 members of the active roster this season were members of last season’s team which made the jump from last to first place.
The season begins with Jon Lester taking the mound against the Baltimore Orioles. The Sox played the Orioles five times in Spring Training. The Sox won two of those games.
The Sox will have a three game series against the Orioles before coming home to Fenway and facing off against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Eyes are on the Red Sox to see if they will be able to win the World Series for the second year but in order to do that the team must remain relatively healthy and the pitching must also relatively consistent, which even last season was a difficult task to accomplish.
The departures of center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and Stephen Drew should hurt the team a bit, and pitcher Ryan Dempster is sitting out this season. It will be interesting to see how the Sox recover from these losses. Ellsbury was an important part of not just last season’s championship but also 2007’s. He was a consistent player that performed when he needed to.
Xander Bogaerts most likely step in to replace the shortstop spot left open by Drew and veteran Grady Siezmore could replace Ellsbury’s place in centerfield, even though he hasn’t played a game in the majors in three years. On the pitching side of things, there is still plenty of depth that it is not as much of a concern.