As exhibition games grow ever closer, the Red Sox have added one more cog to the news surfacing everyday. Manager John Farrell announced the pitching rotation and scheduled relievers for the early games of spring today. Although starting pitching doesn’t mean much this early– starters only throw an inning or two at a time to start the spring– it’s still nice to know who’ll be starting for die hard fans. And with the double-header against Northeastern and Boston College on Thursday and the Grapefruit League opener against the Rays on Saturday, what better time to announce the rotation than now?
It’ll only be relievers pitching in the college games on Thursday in both games. The inning-by-inning breakdown in the day game against B.C. will be Koji Uehara, Andrew Bailey, Oscar Villareal, Terry Doyle (for two innings), Jose De La Torre, and Junichi Tazawa. Three of those pitchers (Uehara, Bailey, and Tazawa) are likely to start the season in the major leagues. In the afternoon game against NEU, it’ll be Joel Hanrahan, Daniel Bard, Andrew Miller, Alex Wilson, Clayton Mortensen, Pedro Beato, and Anthony Carter. The first five of those pitchers are likely to see major league action this year, so it’ll be good for them to get their arms loose.
After that first action, the Red Sox will have a day of rest before heading to Tampa Bay’s spring training facility for their first Grapefruit League game. It’s going to be John Lackey starting that game and pitching for the first time since September 2011 after Tommy John Surgery. Lackey will be followed by a few of the relievers who pitched in the double-header: Drake Britton, Pedro Beato, Anthony Carter, Jose De La Torre, Oscar Villareal, Alex Wilson, and Steven Wright.
The Red Sox will get right back to work on Sunday, where Jon Lester will start followed by a group of potential major leaguers in Rubby de la Rosa, Junichi Tazawa, Joel Hanrahan, Andrew Bailey, Andrew Miller, and Koji Uehara. Sunday will be followed by some split-squad action on Monday with Alfredo Aceves, Chris Hernandez, Daniel Bard, Clayton Mortensen, Oscar Villareal, and Alex Wilson facing the Rays again while Steven Wright, Allen Webster, Terry Doyle, De La Torre, Pedro Beato, Chris Carpenter, and Anthony Carter face the new look Blue Jays.
The pitching rotation doesn’t matter much this early. However, it is nice to have a constant flow of Red Sox news and this is another element in that. It should be good to see Lackey shake off the rust in the first televised game on Saturday. Also, there are a few real world implications here. The way this rotation shapes up, Jon Lester is slated to start Opening Day.