Questions for the Red Sox

BOB ELLIOTT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

The Boston Red Sox sit atop the baseball world.

They enter spring training as the World Series "champ-eens" for the first time since Carl Mays beat the Chicago Cubs on Sept. 11, 1918.

Can the 2005 Sox repeat without Pedro Martinez, now with the New York Mets, and Derek Lowe, now with the Los Angeles Dodgers?

In the six seasons in which Martinez started more than 20 games for the Red Sox, he won 110 games while losing 34, for an average 18-6 record.

Lowe won clinching games against the Minnesota Twins, the New York Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2004 post-season.

The rotation is filled with question marks:

- Curt Schilling. He is recovering from a surgically repaired ankle. It was one thing to hump it up and make two post-season starts, but can he make it back without rushing and suffering an injury? If he's healthy at age 38, he will try to match his 21-6 record with a 3.26 earned-run average.

- David Wells. When he was with the Blue Jays or the Yanks the lefty hated Fenway Park. He said he wanted to be there the day it was blown up. Wells is 10-10 for his career in Boston, with a 4.87 ERA. Is the Green Monster in his head or is it simply like one more of his pronouncements, which carry little or no weight?

- Matt Clement. He was 9-13 with a 3.68 ERA with the Chicago Cubs. Clement has never pitched -- successfully -- in the heat of a pennant race. Pitching for the San Diego Padres, Florida Marlins and Cubs his teams finished a combined 24 games under .500, until the 2004 season. Last year he went four games under for the Cubs who won 84 games.

- Wade Miller. He comes over from the Houston Astros after going 7-7 with a 3.35 ERA in 15 starts. He's coming back from fraying of the rotator cuff.

- Tim Wakefield. The 38-year-old was 12-10 with a 4.87 ERA. Some nights the knuckleball artist paints a pretty picture. Other nights it is sloppy graffiti.

- Bronson Arroyo. He will be in his second full season as a starter, after going 10-9 with a 4.03 ERA.


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