The best news of Spring Training is that Clay Bucholz and Justin Masterson came out throwing hard and throwing strikes. Both pitchers finished with battered arms in the 2013; both are looking for a big comeback year. Both threw with authority in their first starts against Major League hitting.
Because they are known quantities in Boston, Clay and Justin have expectations riding on them. They have good hard stuff and have been dominant on their good days. They are also known for injuries that could derail all this. No one can say if that vulnerability is behind them yet.
But Clay and Justin could be the one-two punch that could silence the talk of aces. We could see 35 wins from the pair of them, if their arms hold up. They could thrive on 6-7 innings per start and leave it to Ogando, Tazawa, Mujica and Uhehara to cancel the remaining pretenders. This is all you can ask of starters today, and these two are up to the requirement.
This is not to say that Rick Porcello and Wade Miley are corned beef, but we know pretty much what they will bring: lots of ground balls and some of them for hits. Will they dominate, shut down the offensive powerhouses? Maybe not, but they will keep you in the game.
The arms we know will shut down the heaviest offense belong to Clay and Justin. As long as those arms are in play, the Red Sox will win in 2015.