BOSTON, Mass. (WPRI) — Baseball season is back once again!
The Boston Red Sox kick off their 2015 campaign against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
For the first time in team history, the Red Sox will be starting the season at a National League park.
The Red Sox beefed up their lineup in the offseason with the acquisitions of 3B Pablo Sandoval and LF Hanley Ramirez.
The team that has gone from worst-to-first-to worst again, hopes they can get off to a good start after recent April struggles for the Sox.
30-year-old Clay Buchholz, coming off his worst season since his rookie year with a 5.34 ERA, is now the pitching staff’s ace.
The two-time All-Star was essentially the No. 3 starter last season, before Jon Lester and John Lackey were traded away.
In 2013, Buchholz was an All-Star in an injury riddled season where he posted an astounding 12-1 record and a 1.74 ERA in just 16 starts during the regular season.
Three-time All-Star Cole Hamels will be matched against Buchholz. Hamels has been rumored this offseason to be a possible trade destination for the Red Sox.
Hamels finished up last season 9-9 with a 2.46 ERA and 198 strikeouts.
Slugger David Ortiz will put on his first baseman’s mitt, as he will take over Mike Napoli’s duties in the DH-less National League.
22-year-old Mookie Betts will also be given the center field reins. Betts, in what was his official rookie season, batted .291 with 5 homeruns in 52 games.
Shane Victorino held off young outfielders Jackie Bradley Jr. and Rusney Castillo for his right field job.
Manager John Farrell said he sent down the Cuban prospect to the PawSox in order to get him more steady at bats until he’s ready for the job, which should be sooner rather than later.
The Red Sox and Phillies first pitch is set for 3:05 p.m.