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You Never Have Too Much Pitching

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Like the rumor the Red Sox are checking out free agent Ryan Madson as a potential bullpen candidate.

Even with the off-season pick-ups of free agent Edward Mujica and Burke Badenhop in a trade with the Brewers, Boston should still be looking at reliever options.

Let’s hope Grant Balfour is on the list too if his price drops.

The team saw last year how quickly they can lose pitching depth when closers Joel Hanrahan and Andrew Bailey both got hit with season-ending injuries.

And there is the same need for depth with starting pitchers.

The Red Sox have six returning starters. No need to prune this list – something that should not even be considered until we see Clay Buchholz pitch in a number of games.

How Red Sox Staff Lines Up

  • Starters – Jon Lester, John Lackey, Buchholz, Jake Peavy, Felix Doubront and Ryan Dempster.
  • Potential Starters (or relievers) – Brandon Workman, Drake Britton, Rubby De La Rosa and Steven Wright.
  • Relievers – Badenhop, Mujica, Koji Uehara, Craig Breslow, Andrew Miller, Junichi Tazawa, Brayan Villarreal and Alex Wilson.
  • Youngster who could surprise in Spring Training – Allen Webster; he has an arm/stuff to be a big league difference maker. The question: Is he ready to stick in the big leagues?
  • Prospects that could be factors in 2014 – Anthony Ranaudo, Matt Barnes and Henry Owens.

That’s deep depth.

But it’s needed. Boston had 26 pitchers hit the mound for the team in 2013.

What to Look at in Spring Training

  • Leading up to Spring Training, Boston should be in add mode in pitching if the right opportunity emerges unless some team overpays in a deal.
  • Among starters, Buchholz is the key – will he show he is ready to go at the season start?
  • Look for Dempster to stay – unless Workman and maybe someone else (Webster? De La Rosa?) show they are ready to move into the rotation if needed.

What are you looking for among Red Sox pitchers during the rest of the off-season and Spring Training?

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