On paper, it looks pretty good: All the Red Sox need to do is wait for their injured players to return, and — presto! — the wins will pile up.

But not even Sox general manager Ben Cherington is buying that one.

"We've been saying for a while that we feel like we have a good team here," he said early last night at Tropicana Field, after the Sox underwent an optional workout in preparation for tonight's series opener against the Rays. "But the reality is that we're at .500 a day after the All-Star break. We have good players that have been playing and good players on the way back and getting healthy, but at some point you have to stop talking about the cavalry coming and start winning games."