Boston not without questions

Updated: March 14, 2011, 10:41 AM ET
By Buster Olney

BRADENTON, Fla. -- The greatest question about the Red Sox, as they enter the 2011 season generally regarded as the best on-paper team in the American League, is about their starting pitching. The last turn through has not been good for this group.

Daisuke Matsuzaka has had a rough spring, and Red Sox manager Terry Francona told reporters Sunday about another change Boston will make to Matsuzaka's regimen. In the past, he has had a long-toss session and a bullpen session on the same day, something he did as part of his schedule in Japan, which had an extra day built in. Francona, pitching coach Curt Young and Matsuzaka talked about splitting up the long-toss session and the bullpen session into different days, because there was concern that Matsuzaka couldn't handle as much out of the bullpen work as Boston wanted after throwing long-toss.

The mechanics required to discuss this kind of thing with Matsuzaka -- a translator is called and Matsuzaka is brought into the office and a laborious conversation follows -- is not something Francona likes, because he can't stand the way it feels like Matsuzaka is being reprimanded, when he's not. A change in Jon Lester's regimen would require a 30-second conversation in the outfield.