The Red Sox were back on the field Tuesday with all eyes on the team’s pitching lineup as spring training continues in Fort Myers, Fla. this year. 

Manager Alex Cora discussed the pitching situation, saying he hopes Boston’s Chris Sale can stay healthy for the entire season. Cora continued, though, saying he hopes Sale isn’t feeling the weight of the team on his shoulders, further declining to publicly name an opening day starter at this point. 

“It’s one start,” he told 7NEWS. “I know it’s Opening Day and its very important, but we’ll get there when we get there.”

Sale has made just 11 starts over the past three years as he has battled various injuries. Speaking this week, Cora said he likes the progression Sale has made.

“I think, the last few seasons with Chris, whenever he was ready, everybody felt like the savior was coming,” Cora said. “It’s not that way.” 

“You need five starters,” he continued. “You need eight relievers. You need the position players to accomplish the things that we want to do.” 

With pitcher Tanner Houck coming off a season-ending injury, Cora said the team will need to “maximize his talent.”

“The more innings the better, because he’s that good,” he said. 

While Houck’s preference is to start instead of serving as a reliever, he said he wants to fill whichever role Cora needs. 

He said he is feeling better after undergoing back surgery. 

“I had some issues halfway through the season last year,” Houck said. “I spiraled downhill a little bit. But thanks to the doctors up in Boston and the training staff down here, I feel a lot better.”

Also sidelined by an injury last year, pitcher Garrett Whitlock is set to be back in the starting rotation this year.

The Red Sox will begin 2023 spring training games later this week. The team will then return to Boston next month for Opening Day at home at Fenway Park on March 30.

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