On the field, at least, the principal issue now is as it was then: the durability of the starting rotation. Minus Jon Lester, there is relatively little assurance that any of the Red Sox' projected first four starters can make in the neighborhood of 30 starts, even assuming that there is a commitment to do so.
And if they can whether they can do so now with reasonable effectiveness is also an issue.
For now, let's table (but not forget) all discussion about the end of the 2011 season and deal purely in facts. Despite having one of the highest-paid rotations in the game last season, Red Sox starters finished ninth in the American League in ERA. They finished a dreadful 13th in innings pitched, ahead of only the Baltimore Orioles and just behind the Kansas City Royals. Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lackey have since undergone elbow surgeries, and Clay Buchholz has not pitched in a meaningful game since June 16.
In the place of Lackey and Matsuzaka, the Sox now have a cast of fill-ins that includes John Maine, Carlos Silva, Brandon Duckworth and Vicente Padilla.
Questions, questions, questions.
A sizable mound of questions.