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Inbox: Will new coaching staff bring success?

Beat reporter Ian Browne answers fans' questions
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

The coaching staff has seen a lot of turnover. How do you see these changes impacting the team at each position -- specifically hitting (more or less aggressive?), pitching and baserunning?
-- Taylor R., Framingham, Mass.

I think the hitting philosophy will undergo the biggest change. Hitting coach Tim Hyers is a big believer in launch angle, which should help the Red Sox improve their power. Manager Alex Cora has said numerous times he wants his hitters to be hunting for hittable pitches to drive early in the count, which is also a change from what we've seen from the Red Sox in recent years.

The coaching staff has seen a lot of turnover. How do you see these changes impacting the team at each position -- specifically hitting (more or less aggressive?), pitching and baserunning?
-- Taylor R., Framingham, Mass.

I think the hitting philosophy will undergo the biggest change. Hitting coach Tim Hyers is a big believer in launch angle, which should help the Red Sox improve their power. Manager Alex Cora has said numerous times he wants his hitters to be hunting for hittable pitches to drive early in the count, which is also a change from what we've seen from the Red Sox in recent years.

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Many of the pitchers I've spoken to are very excited about working more closely with Dana LeVangie, who was the bullpen coach the past several years before getting his recent promotion to pitching coach. LeVangie is excellent at spotting mechanical flaws, and he helped many pitchers in his past role.

As far as the baserunning goes, I'd look for more stolen bases. Jackie Bradley Jr. has already mentioned that Cora will give him the green light more often. Xander Bogaerts is another player who could steal more. Mookie Betts had 26 stolen bases last year, but he definitely has the speed to get 30. I'd also look for fewer outs from runners when trying to take an extra base on a batted ball. The Red Sox led the league in running into outs last season, and too many rallies were short-circuited.

Where do you believe the terms will end up being with J.D. Martinez and the Red Sox?
-- Allan Y., Sanford, Maine

Given how long this has taken, I don't think we can say with certainty Martinez ends up in Boston. If he does, I think it will be a five-year deal that includes a sixth-year option that can vest if he has a strong fifth season.

Video: Rosenthal on latest J.D. Martinez-Red Sox rumors

What's your ideal Opening Day lineup?
-- @AlexLaManna

Mookie Betts, RF; Andrew Benintendi, LF; Xander Bogaerts, SS; J.D. Martinez, DH; Rafael Devers, 3B; Hanley Ramirez, 1B; Eduardo Nunez, 2B; Jackie Bradley Jr., CF; Christian Vazquez, C.

If the Red Sox could finally land Martinez, they'd have the prototypical cleanup hitter they need in the middle of an otherwise solid batting order. And by bringing Nunez back, they'd have coverage while Dustin Pedroia is out, and a super-sub with great versatility once Pedroia returns. Betts, Benintendi and Devers are all capable of having big seasons. The Red Sox think it is realistic that Ramirez, Bradley and Bogaerts can all improve on what they did last year because all three players were playing through injuries.

What is the likelihood the Sox walk away from Martinez and go after Carlos Gonzalez for a one-year deal? He will be cheaper plus you add the much-needed bat.
-- @MatthewTellier

I agree that Gonzalez's bat would be much-needed if he returns to his 2015-16 form, rather than last year, when he had 14 homers and a .762 OPS. But given this slow-moving market, there are going to be some bargain deals to be had where you can buy low on some talented players. Gonzalez is definitely a player to keep an eye on.

Do you think the Red Sox are more concerned with signing Bryce Harper next year than J.D. Martinez this year? Do you feel they will "let it ride" this year rather than overpay Martinez?
-- Paul F., Las Vegas, Nev.

I don't think the Red Sox can bank on being able to sign Bryce Harper. It would be great if they did, but the competition for his services is going to be substantial. As for Martinez, the Red Sox think the offer they've made is fair. And unless someone else tops it or gets close to it, I don't think they feel compelled to up it.

Why have we not re-signed Nunez? He was a spark last year after we got him in a trade.
-- Richard W., Vernon

The Red Sox have stayed in contact with Nunez and there's still a chance for a reunion. I agree that getting him back makes a lot of sense, particularly with Pedroia out for the first few weeks of the season. It could be that Nunez is seeking a more defined role somewhere else.

Video: Outlook: Nunez offers solid speed, contributions

How is David Price feeling in regards to his arm? And is he ready to prove he is still a frontline starter?
-- Frank, Torrington, Conn.

Price is already working out at Spring Training and said that his elbow feels great. This is good news. I think his performance will be a big factor in how far the Red Sox can go this year. And yes, he very much wants to prove that he's still a frontline starter. Most importantly, he just wants to stay healthy.

Video: Outlook: Price looking to bounce back in a big way

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

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