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After last years debacle of a season, Red Sox fans are looking for redemption. In an attempt to change the atmosphere around the clubhouse, the Red Sox’s front office fired coach Bobby Valentine and made acquisitions for players who have a winning attitude and a history of consistent production. Some players are looking for a bounce back year after putting up less than stellar statistics last year, while others are looking to prove to the team and fans they are here to win.
Dempster is new to the Boston Redsox this year. He was signed in the offseason after splitting last season between the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs. Hopefully, Dempster will provide immediate help to a pitching staff that was terrible last year, posting the 4th worst overall ERA in the MLB at 4.70. Dempster can throw 200 plus innings, something he’s 4 of his past 5 years.
Lester is coming off a dismal season in which he put up the worst stats of his career. 2012 was the only season that Lester did not have a winning season, as he went 9 and 14 and posted the highest ERA of his career at 4.82. With John Farrell returning to Boston as the manager, the hope is for Lester to return to form when Farrell was his pitching coach and as the perennial All-Star we all know him to be.
2013 will mark Middlebrooks’ first full season as a starter for the Red Sox. Middlebrooks took over as the full time starter at third base after Kevin Youkilis was traded and has long been billed as the future of the Red Sox. Last year, he gave us just a preview as to what’s to come, batting .288 with 15 homeruns and 54 runs batted in in just 75 games. A powerful right-handed batter with an arm just as powerful, Middlebrooks will be at the hot corner in Boston for years to come.
Napoli is another offseason pick up the Red Sox signed, hoping to put big offensive numbers up and help put 2012 inthe rearview. Napoli comes to Boston as a catcher and first baseman; however, his primary position in Boston will most likely be as first baseman and designated hitter. Napoli hit 20+ home runs during his past 5 years in the majors. He may become more of a liability on defensive, but Napoli’s bat and experience will serve the Red Sox well.
The often-hurt Ellsbury, signed a one year deal with the Red Sox this offseason, assuring he will spend at least one more season with the Sox. Many speculate that this could be Ellsbury’s last year, although a lot of that depends on if he stays healthy and what his production looks like. If Ellsbury stays of the DL and puts up the monster season we’ve seen he’s capable of, he could be eyeing a fat contract next year. It’s up to Ellsbury to prove to the Red Sox and the rest of the league he can consistently stay healthy and produce.
Known as the “Flyin Hawaiian,” Victorino is another new face for the Redsox. He spilt last season playing for the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers, stealing 39 bases. His 39 stolen bases would have been enough to lead to Red Sox team, as nobody on the roster had more than 20 in 2012. It’s assumed Victorino will start in right field for the Red Sox and as long as he stays healthy, the job is his to lose. A fan favorite in Philadelphia, Victorino should be welcomed by the Boston fans.