The team is getting a different look to it, a different feel. You have “gamers” like Napoli, Gomes, and Victorino to go along with Dustin Pedroia. The Sox are trying to get tougher, to put people on the field who want to play every day and play hurt.
That part is coming along very well.
But do they have enough talent, especially in the pitching department? That seems to be the focus of the next phase of their plan. And in many respects, it’s the most important.
They are hoping for improvement from Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz, a good return by John Lackey, continued development by Felix Doubront. Farrell really believes that Bobby Valentine’s assessment of Franklin Morales as a starter was spot-on. He throws 96 m.p.h. and can sustain it. And there’s always Andrew Miller, who likely will stay in the bullpen, but you can’t overlook his 97-98 m.p.h. fastball, either.
What they want is one more reliable starter who can throw at least 180 innings. If they can get that, and buy time for young stars Bradley and Xander Boegarts to rise, they may start contending for a playoff spot once again.