What was unthinkable to me a week ago, now doesn't seem so unreasonable. Can the Sox still trade Lowell during Spring Training and possibly go with a 3 man bench? Let's examine the bench:
Varitek - Varitek picks up a few extra starts if they needed to slide VMart to 1B to give Youkilis a day off or two. If Varitek or VMart go on the DL, Wagner figures to get the call.
Hall - If he can back up 2B, SS, 3B and both corner outfield positions, he can get into a fair amount of games. If he or a starting infielder goes down, I would assume that Lowrie gets the first call.
Hermida - Backs up each corner outfield spot and Ortiz. Can he play some 1B? His ability to serve as the 2nd or 3rd 1B could prove to be the key to a 3 man bench. If Hermida or an outfielder goes on the DL, Reddick gets the call.
The good - a shallow bench gives more opportunities to Hall and Hermida. It also allows you to carry 13 pitchers.
The bad and ugly - A thin bench doesn't provide a great deal of wiggle room. If a couple of players need a few days off, you could be in trouble. Is a 13 man staff a good thing? Three (Beckett, Lester, Lackey) starters should get you deep into games. A healthy Wakefield could give you multiple innings out of the pen leaving you 7 other relievers fighting for innings.
Could a three man bench work?