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Jon Lester had the worst season of his career in 2012, posting a 9-14 record with a 4.82 ERA and 1.383 WHIP.

Red Sox manager John Farrell follows general manager Ben Cherington as they arrive for a news conference at Fenway Park in Boston today. Farrell became the 46th manager in the club’'s 112-year history. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

“There were some very obvious things with Jon that he and I have already talked about that you saw in his delivery that he kind of maybe drifted into that might have affected his overall consistency,” new Red Sox manager John Farrell said.

Daniel Bard also had a horrific season with a 5-6 record, 6.22 ERA and 1.74 WHIP in 17 games, 10 starts.

“We’ve exchanged a couple of text messages and voicemails,” Farrell said about he and Bard. “Before getting a chance to talk with him in-depth, I couldn’t begin to say what the steps to adjustments might be. But I think we all recognize that it wasn’t too long ago that this might have been the best eighth inning reliever in baseball. He’s not injured. And that gives you every reason to believe he can regain that performance ability.”

Farrell said he and the Red Sox obviously recognize the importance of having strong pitching.

“Particularly starting pitching,” Farrell said. “You look at every team that’s advanced to the postseason — which let’s face it, that’s how we’re going to measured: Not if we get to the postseason but how deep do we progress into the postseason? And it typically starts and ends with the strength of your starting rotation. So that is a priority. Not only with the returning guys, which I think is a very strong core group when you consider Jon, when you consider Felix (Doubront), Clay (Buchholz). The return of John Lackey — that’s going to be an important part of that.”

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