Red Sox vs the AL East: starting pitching

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Sep 23, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz (11) pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

4. Boston Red Sox

The Red Sox have completed revamped their rotation since the start of the 2014 season, with Buchholz the only remaining member of last season’s opening rotation. And while Boston has certainly lost a bunch of talent after trading away Jon Lester and John Lackey at the deadline last season, general manager Ben Cherington has done a good job of adding depth to the rotation and potentially giving the team a high-upside starting five.

The major ding on this rotation has been its lack of a true ace and while that may be true, the Red Sox have a handful of guys that have pitched like aces at times during their careers. Buchholz (8-11, 5.34 ERA) is coming off a terrible season, but his 4.01 FIP suggests that he wasn’t nearly that bad; plus, Buchholz has pitched like an ace multiple times over the course of his career, with his main issue simply keeping away from the disabled list. If he is able to stay healthy, the Red Sox might already have their man. However, the Red Sox also have plenty of upside in the middle and back of their rotation as well, with Porcello (15-13, 3.43 ERA) coming off a season where he finally put it all together at the age of 25. Masterson was hurt last season, but he had a 3.45 ERA and over a strikeout per inning just a season before and is just 29 years old. Similarly, Kelly (6-4, 4.20 ERA) and Miley (8-12, 4.34 ERA) are both young and have shown the potential to be solid pitchers at the major league level.

This rotation has a ton of questions, but it certainly has upside and the Red Sox have the prospect depth to patch some holes if need be, sliding this group ahead of Toronto.