One of the squandered opportunities came during John Farrell's tenure as Boston's
pitching coach in 2010. But Farrell watched the Red Sox organization's last two
trying seasons from afar with the Blue Jays.
He can sympathize, considering injuries decimated Toronto's starting rotation
last season. With a bevy of All-Stars on the Red Sox roster — many who
underachieved in 2012 — it begs the question about whether the franchise can
contend in 2013.
"I think a couple of things will need to happen," Farrell said.
"Certain players [need to] return to the form and the performance that
they've established for themselves and not just a one-year situation.
"Guys who have established a career path and a career record of being
above average and get the guys back who were taken out because of injury, to
get them back fully healthy and then whatever additions are brought forward
into this group."
Without naming names, Farrell was likely referring to Jon Lester, Clay
Buchholz, Daniel Bard, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz. The
three pitchers fell short of expectations, resulting in Boston finishing with
the third-worst ERA in the AL.
The latter trio was shelved at different points of the season with injuries,
taking the punch out of Boston's lineup. If those six standouts rebound and the
Red Sox add a few mores pieces to the puzzle, Farrell believes there is reason
to be optimistic.
"I think this has got an opportunity to be a fairly quick turnaround and
get to the point of contending next year," he said.