2013 MLB Preview: AL East – A Boston makeover

It’s been one of the most competitive divisions in Major League Baseball over the past decade – and this year, once again, it could be one of the hardest divisions to predict.

It’s the American League East.

But, despite how hard it may be to pull apart, here’s how this year’s AL East breaks down.

Boston Red Sox (2012: 69-93 // 5th in the AL East)

Boston Red Sox Logo

Remember last year when the Red Sox won only 69 games? Remember how general manager Ben Cherington tried to put his stamp on the team – trading away Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford?

That was one year ago.

Bobby Valentine was in as the manager and really didn’t help the team out at all.

Well, this year should be different (or at least that’s what Boston fans hope for). Former pitching coach John Farrell has been brought in to manage the team – bringing with him Brian Butterfield from Toronto.

Shane Victorino will be the team’s right-fielder after signing a three-year deal with the club – which some are still trying to understand.

The team also added Ryan Dempster to a pitching staff that certainly under-performed last year, but is expected to do better in 2013.

John Lackey will be returning after Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2011 season, but he’s not expected to perform better than average.

The team will rely heavily on the pitching of their young guns – Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz. The two combined for a 20-22 record last season both with ERAs close to 5.00.

The health of guys like Dustin Pedroia and Jacoby Ellsbury will also play a big part in the success of the Sox – a team that will likely start the season without designated hitter David Ortiz (another injury concern).

But the Fenway faithful will not stay quiet for too long if the team gets off to a bad start. So look for the Sox to play competitive baseball using speed and small-ball tactics any chance they get.

Added: SP Ryan Dempster, SS Stephen Drew, DH Jonny Gomes, RP Joel Hanrahan, 2B Brock Holt, OF Mitch Maier, 1B Mike Napoli, 1B Lyle Overbay, C David Ross, RP Koji Uehara, OF Shane Victorino
Lost: RP Scott Atchison, SP Aaron Cook, RP Rich Hill, 1B James Loney, SP Daisuke Matsuzaka, RP Mark Melancon, OF Cody Ross

American League East Previews:
New York Yankees
Baltimore Orioles
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays

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