BOSTON (CBS) - Jon Lester pitched more innings last year than ever before, and the Red Sox never envisioned using John Lackey as much coming off of Tommy John surgery.
For those reasons, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe thinks the team might use six starters to begin the season.
"There's some talk about that. You want to be careful with their innings early on in the season and build them up cautiously. I don't think you'll see them make any more than five starts in spring training. They are going to be really careful with Lester and Lackey. And come the regular season, depending on what everybody else looks like, they could go with a longer rotation, maybe just for a couple weeks, to see where everything settles in. If they don't make a trade and one of those starting pitchers doesn't look like he can fit in the bullpen, at least you're not piling up innings on Lester and Lackey right away. When you look back at some of the guys who pitched a lot in the postseason it does affect them the following year."
Should the Red Sox move to a six-man starting rotation the candidates would likely be Jon Lester, John Lackey, Clay Buchholz, Jake Peavy, Felix Doubront and Ryan Dempster.
Other starting pitchers to keep an eye on in spring training include prospects Henry Owens, Matt Barnes and Anthony Ranaudo.
Listen below and get Pete Abe's thoughts on the latest with Grady Sizemore, Jackie Bradley Jr., and David Ortiz:
Abraham: Red Sox May Employ 6-Man Starting Rotation
MORE FROM TOUCHER AND RICH
for more features.