Pedro: Young starters need a veteran leader

BOSTON -- With a handful of top pitching prospects comprising their rotation and upper levels of the minors, the Red Sox have plenty to be excited about looking toward 2015.

However, one former Red Sox pitcher still thinks the team is missing an important piece in the development of all their young arms.

Pedro Martinez, who serves as a special assistant to Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington, said Thursday prior to his induction into the Red Sox Hall of Fame that the team's young starters could greatly benefit from a veteran presence at the top of their rotation.

"When the situations call for someone to be cool on the mound and be able to think right and keep their poise on top of the mound, you need someone to show you how those things are done," Martinez said. "I think for these kids -- especially so young -- it would be unfair to actually ask them to be all the things that they don't know how to be."

According to Martinez, the Red Sox had a pitcher who fit the role model mold perfectly in Jon Lester, whom they traded at the July 31 deadline. In addition to Lester, John Lackey, Jake Peavy and Felix Doubront were also shipped off before the deadline, opening the way for several of Boston's younger guys to get a chance.

The rotation is fronted by Clay Buchholz, who is still sorting out his own shortcomings after his dominant 2013 season was interrupted by injury. Behind Buchholz, Joe Kelly, despite being 26 years old, is looked to as a veteran due to his three years in the league, while Brandon Workman, Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster are all getting their first extended time in a major league rotation.

Rookie Anthony Ranaudo has found himself in the mix of late as well, picking up two wins in his first two major league starts.

"I think we have a bright future as far as players -- especially pitching," Martinez said. "We have a lot of work to do still [but] I think the talent is there. The kids that we have -- even though they look so young -- they will be able to mature soon enough to actually become good pitchers in the big leagues."

"Not saying that those kids are not capable of becoming aces -- they could become aces -- but they need guidance," Martinez added. "I think that's where a veteran pitcher will probably play a role in between these kids."