Key figures on the 2009 Red Sox
DH - David Ortiz
Due to a wrist injury, David Ortiz's production was way down in 2008, as he hit .264 with 23 home runs and 89 RBI. Those numbers were a far cry from 2007's .332, 35 homers and 117 RBI. Without Manny Ramirez in the lineup, can Ortiz bounce back in 2009?
2B - Dustin Pedroia
Dustin Pedroia was the Rookie of the Year in 2007, then he followed it up by winning the MVP in 2008. What can he do to top that in 2009? Pedroia posted a .326 average with 17 HR and 83 RBI while leading the league in doubles and runs scored and tying for the lead in hits.
CL - Jonathan Papelbon
The energetic Papelbon is one of the most dominant closers in baseball. He posted a 2.34 ERA with 41 saves and 77 strikeouts. His primary weapon is a fastball, but he's been working on incorporating a slider into his repertoir for 2009 as well.
SP - Josh Beckett
Injuries came back to haunt Josh Beckett again in 2008. Despite back and elbow problems throughout the season, Beckett posted a 4.03 ERA with a 12-10 record and 172 strikeouts. As solid as those numbers are, while healthy in 2007, he tallied a 3.27 ERA, 20-7 record and 194 strikeouts. Injuries could determine how well Beckett performs in '09.
OF - Jason Bay
Fairly or not, Jason Bay will likely always be compared to Manny Ramirez when it comes to the opinions of Red Sox fans. Bay came over in the deal that sent Manny to L.A. last season, but he did perform well. Overall, he hit .286 with 31 HR and 101 RBI. Being in the AL for the entire season could cause those impressive numbers to rise even higher.
SP - Daisuke Matsuzaka
Dice-K posted some strong numbers in 2008, but a couple of bizarre numbers as well. He tallied a 2.90 ERA with an 18-3 record which on the surface appears tremendous. However, he also led the league in walks with 94. The Red Sox will need him to either keep stranding those runners or lower his walk rate.
1B - Kevin Youkilis
Kevin Youkilis added some power to his already-impressive offensive numbers in 2008. He tallied a .312 average with 29 HR and 115 RBI. His previous high in home runs was 16, so many have speculated that last year's home run total was a fluke.
OF - J.D. Drew
J.D. Drew posted some strong numbers last season, but once again, his body broke down and he missed some time. In 368 at bats, he compiled a .280 average with 19 home runs and 64 RBI.
C - Jason Varitek
He was the Red Sox captain last season, but his numbers were dreadful. He posted a .220 average with 13 home runs and 43 RBI. Hoping for a big contract, he turned down arbitration, but then he had to settle for a one-year deal for $5 million with a club option for $5 million and a $3 million player option.
SP - Jon Lester
It's hard to find a much better story than Jon Lester. The Red Sox starter overcame lymphoma to go on to pitch a no-hitter in 2008. His overall numbers were just as impressive with a 3.21 ERA, 16-6 record and 152 strikeouts.
SP - Brad Penny, John Smoltz
The Red Sox took fliers on Brady Penny (center) and John Smoltz (right) with one-year deals. Due to shoulder surgery, Smoltz won't be available until June, but the Red Sox are hoping that Penny can bounce back and contribute right away. Last season, Penny struggled to a 6.27 ERA and a 6-9 ERA. The year before, though, he was outstanding with a 3.03 ERA and a 16-4 record.
Manager - Terry Francona
Terry Francona did the unthinkable and brought a World Series to the Red Sox in just his first year on the bench. If that wasn't enough for Boston fans, he won another title in 2007.