Wheeler and Jenks should do well in Boston, since they are veterans of the American League, while Reyes will be coming over from the National League. I'm still banking on him to be a surprise success story, though it may take a while for him to adjust to the AL East and to take over as the primary lefty out of the bullpen, since Hideki Okajima not so surprisingly got sent to the minors to begin the season—he also had options left, despite his four years of service in the majors.
And what about knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, the elder stateman of the Sox squad? You gotta feel bad for the guy, as he is relegated to long man duty once again. But with the poor spring he had, he should consider himself lucky he even made the team. I don't expect much success from him this year (maybe seven wins as a reliever and spot starter, topps).
Even with all the injuries and poor outings from the bullpen and starters not named Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester last season, the Red Sox still won 89 games to the amazement of many. This season, I expect that total to jump into the mid-90s because of the return of healthy everyday veteran players, an improved, veteran-heavy bullpen, and a starting staff that is the envy of the American League and that can only get more consistent as a group than it was last season, with the rotation being Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Josh Beckett and Daisuke "Dice-K" Matsuzaka.
The Sox may have finished third behind the Rays and Yankees last season, but in a stacked division once again this year, I feel the Sox are once again ready to win the AL East for the first time since 2007.
Photo credit: Boston Herald