Red Sox are most improved team

With better pitching and added depth, Boston is poised to bounce back

Updated: April 3, 2013, 8:35 PM ET
By Manny Acta | ESPN Insider

There is no denying that the Boston Red Sox's 2012 season was a disaster. Last year was filled with lots of injuries, poor pitching and a manager who didn't work out.

But that was last season. When I look at the 2013 version of the Red Sox, I see a team with improved pitching, lots of depth and incredible character. Believe it or not, this is going to be the most improved team in Major League Baseball in 2013.

Here's a look at why the Red Sox are primed for a bounce-back season.

Improved pitching

In 2011, the Red Sox finished ninth in the AL with a 4.20 ERA; last year, even though they had almost identical personnel, that number jumped to 4.70. The biggest problem was Jon Lester, who combined for a 3.33 ERA from 2008 through 2011. Last year? His ERA was 4.82. Who do you think the real Lester is? Personally, I think it's the pitcher we saw prior to 2012, and he is on a mission to prove that last year was a fluke. We saw a glimpse of that on Monday against the Yankees (seven strikeouts and two runs allowed in five innings), and I expect more of the same from here on out.