The way they plan on doing that, apparently, is to add veteran right-hander Ryan Dempster, who was introduced on Wednesday afternoon at Fenway Park. The veteran starter has seen varying levels of success in his long big league career, but he’ll have his work cut out for him this season. It will mark his first full season in the American League after a two-month stint with Texas last season.
The Red Sox are hoping that Dempster can help turn around a starting rotation that underachieved in September of 2011 and all of the 2012 season. Of course, Dempster alone won’t solve those problems. The Red Sox need bounce-back efforts from the entire rotation, with just about every starter underachieving in 2012.
The addition of John Farrell as manager should give some reason for optimism. The club is no doubt hoping the return of the former pitching coach can help get pitchers like Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz going in the right direction. If they struggle, the Dempster signing will be inconsequential.
One pitcher who has shown the ability to win ballgames in the past is John Lackey. That being said, Lackey has also showed the ability to lose ballgames — for much of his Boston tenure. He’s returning from Tommy John surgery this season, so it’s tough to know what to expect from him either way. But anything better than 2011 and 2012 — combining for 12 wins over two seasons — will be a step forward. Maybe?
In reality, all of the Red Sox’ starters, Felix Doubront included as well, are going to need to step up and improve from where they were in 2012. Which one will find the most success in that endeavor, however, is anybody’s guess.