According to a series of tweets from Maureen Mullen, Red Sox manager John Farrell has named his pitchers for the first four Grapefruit League games of the year, and it's good news for everyone who's been waiting with bated breath to see the new and improved John Lackey.
Nobody? Oh, oh well then...
Yes, it will be John Lackey getting the start on Saturday as the Red Sox kick off their real spring training schedule against the Tampa Bay Rays. He'll quickly give way, in typical spring training fashion, to Drake Britton, Pedro Beato, Anthony Carter, Jose De La Torre, Oscar Villareal, Alex Wilson, and Steven Wright, leaving Lackey the only one of the bunch expected to make the team this year.
Jon Lester will be the next man in line for starting duty as the Sox head to Jupiter to take on the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday. His replacements are rather more impressive, with Rubby De La Rosa, Junichi Tazawa, Joel Hanrahan, Andrew Bailey, Andrew Miller, and Koji Uehara expected to finish the job.
Monday will see the Sox split their squad for a pair of away games against Tampa Bay and Toronto, with neither bunch looking particularly impressive. Alfredo Aceves will get the start in Tampa, which is not to say he's being converted to a starter given the group of Chris Hernandez, Daniel Bard, Clayton Mortensen, Oscar Villareal, and Alex Wilson who are set to follow him. Steven Wright, meanwhile, will take the mound against Toronto, with Allen Webster making his debut behind him before Terry Doyle, Jose De La Torre, Pedro Beato, Chris Carpenter, and Anthony Carter close it out.
This leaves Sunday's game against the Rays as the obvious one to watch. Unfortunately, of these games, only Saturday's opener against the Rays will be picked up by NESN and WEEI. The good news is that the Cardinals' radio station seems to be picking up the game in Jupiter, which means there should be some way to follow it using one of MLB's various services, for hose desperate enough for a baseball fix.