A quick look at the Red Sox starting rotation

I'm a man of my word and as promised here's a quick preview of the 2013 Red Sox starting rotation. Keep in mind this isn't an in depth Jeremy Schaap-esque report (that guy can pull a story), but rather a glancing look at what was, what is and what might be in store for the Red Sox starting rotation.

Enjoy Red Sox Nation, enjoy.

Jon Lester (2012 Record: 9-14)

Overview: It would be better for everyone if we could erase the 2012 season from our memory. I guarantee Jon Lester would be the first in line for a brain wipe after the season he had as the Red Sox’s ace. 

Lester ended the 2012 campaign with a 4.82 ERA, 166 strikeouts and a 1.38 WHIP. Hardly the kind of numbers you’d expect from an MLB All-Star let alone the Red Sox’s number one pitcher. With the team distractions behind him, and a new season on the horizon Lester will have the opportunity to reclaim his form in 2013.

2013 Record Predictions: 18-7 (Lester comes back and proves why he’s the ace)

Clay Buchholz (2012 Record: 11-8)

Overview: Buchholz ended the 2012 season tied for the team lead in wins alongside Felix Doubront with 11. Let me say that one more time, 11. 

The Sox are hoping Buchholz can return to his 2010 form where he went 17-7 with a 2.33 ERA in 28 starts. I have a feeling he’ll get close to that in 2013. The Red Sox will need Buchholz to go deep into games to relieve the pressure on the bullpen.

2013 Record Predictions: 15-6 (Clay needs to bounce back and he’ll have his opportunity as the organization’s number two pitcher. Look for Buchholz to have a dominate year.)

Felix Doubront (2012 Record: 11-10)

Overview: Doubront had a solid rookie season with the Sox. His flashes of brilliance and dominance left Sox fans daydreaming about the future. Doubront ended the year striking out 10 Orioles in his final start. He finished the 2012 season with a 4.86 ERA, 167 strikeouts and a 1.45 WHIP.

All eyes will be on Doubront as he begins his sophomore season with the Red Sox. Hopefully he’ll grow and mature as a player, but conventional wisdom says he’ll struggle through most of the season. I’m hoping that’s just a dumb sports cliche but only time will tell.  

2013 Record Predictions:  13-8 (Doubront will hit a sophomore slump early but finish strong in the second half of the season)

John Lackey (2012 Record: Injured)

Overview: Lackey is coming off Tommy John surgery which kept him from playing in the 2012 season. The injury, in my opinion, might have been the best thing for the 34-year old right hander as it kept him out of the 2012 Red Sox debacle. Moving forward we're all eager to see what the Texas native has left after a long layoff.

The 2013 season will be an important year for Lackey. Most would say his two years in Boston have been a disappointment or even a bust. He’ll need to have a solid 2013 season to gain favor with Red Sox Nation. 

2013 Record Prediction: 11-5 (It’s hard to predict what Lackey will do considering he’s coming back from major surgery. I’m being optimistic, someone has to)

Ryan Dempster (2012 Record: 12-8)

Overview: It’s hard to know what we'll get out of Ryan Dempster. Last year he split time between the Cubs and Rangers organization ending the year with a 3.38 ERA, 153 strikeouts and a 1.20 WHIP. 

With the Cubs Dempster went 5-5 with a 2.25 ERA through 16 starts. As a Ranger he posted 7-3 record with a 5.09 ERA. 

My question going into spring training is this: What does Dempster have left in the tank? Right now he’s number five on the official Red Sox depth chart, right behind a guy who’s coming off Tommy John surgery. I’m not sure that’s a good sign for the Canadian but we’ll find out soon enough.

2013 Record Prediction: 8-4 (History shows us that Dempster can ratchet it up when run support is lacking. He’ll need that this season as the number five starter)

Follow Scott Levesque on Twitter at @scottlevesque.