Sunday April 07, 2013 | 09:03 AM

John Lackey is out indefinitely with a biceps strain (which could mean a muscle tear ... which could mean something very serious).

As all the armchair doctors try to figure out how long Lackey will be out, the armchair GM's are planning Lackey's replacement in the rotation.

We've been writing all spring about Boston's depth in Pawtucket, that the Red Sox actually have prospects in Triple-A, and not just hangers-on. But are any of them ready? The first three starters for the PawSox this season have little Triple-A experience.

Knuckleball Steven Wright pitched the opener for the PawSox (4 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 5 K). At the moment, he may be as unpredictable as his pitch. Could be dominating. Could be a disaster.

Lefty Chris Hernandez pitched the third PawSox game on Saturday: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 R (1 ER), 4 BB, 3 K. The number of walks is a concern since command is Hernandez's forte.

Allen Webster, obtained in the Dodgers trade last year, pitched Friday for Pawtucket and threw five scoreless inning (2 H, 3 BB, 5 K's). Webster had a good spring training, and Boston may want to get a look at him in the majors.

Boston could also just move the unpredictable Alfredo Aceves to starter and call up another bullpen arm.

Another pitching prospect, who has not reached Portland yet, may be with the Sea Dogs by mid-year. Lefty Henry Owens, only 20, made his advanced Class A debut Saturday with Salem: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K.

Matt Barnes was supposed to make his Double-A debut today, but Saturday's postponement (too darn cold!) pushed Barnes' start to Monday. We feature Barnes (his thoughts on nearby Newtown, CT, as well as his talent) in today's column.


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

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