FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox' rotation may not be the best in the division, but it is among the more experienced. Three of the projected starters -- Jon Lester, John Lackey and Ryan Dempster -- have, several times over the course of their careers, logged more than 200 innings per season.
Experience alone doesn't guarantee success. But their past work can be a key building block for the staff.
"They have first-hand experience of knowing (what it's like to make) 32-plus starts in a given season," said Farrell, "how to gauge spring training as they go through the early phase of it; and what we're looking for as we get closer to the start of the season; the importance of those four days in between (starts) to log innings; the work and preparation leading into camp and into the start of the season -- they've all been very successful at that."
"The nice thing is, having gone through the ups and downs, we kind of know what we're capable of doing," said Dempster. "If you have a bad game, or you had a bad year, you know you have the ability to bounce back and whatever it takes to go out there. We're going to continue to push each other hard this spring and throughout the rest of the season to get the best out of each other."
Dempster said veteran pitchers can create some intra-staff competition.
"One guy that really sticks out (among former teammates) is Ted Lilly," said Dempster. "You go out there and go seven and come in the locker room afterward and he'd say, 'I guess I've got to go eight tomorrow.' That's something that's really important. That friendly competitiveness and pushing each other. There's more in the tank than some times we realize and some times it may take somebody on your team to push you that little bit extra."