The Red Sox have not officially announced their playoff roster -- or their rotation -- for the American League Division Series, but manager John Farrell dropped some more hints on Wednesday. Boston will carry 11 pitchers in the first round, which very likely means that Jackie Bradley Jr. will not be making the initial playoff roster.
Farrell says the Sox are "staying with what our strengths have been" which likely means keeping bullpen options open while relying on the bats of Jonny Gomes and Mike Carp off of the bench, rather than cutting into the pen depth and adding Bradley to the mix for what would likely be duties as the second pinch-runner and late-inning defensive replacement.
This likely means either Matt Thornton or Felix Doubront is taking that final spot as an additional left-hander in the bullpen, but you'd have to think it's Thornton, given Doubront's lackluster performance and what Boston seems to be acknowledging is a lack of desire to pitch out of the bullpen. Thornton might not have excelled in his time with the Red Sox, but he's at least willing, and it's not as if Doubront has done well in the bullpen, well, basically ever: he owns a 7.76 ERA in 22 career relief appearances, and has looked like a completely different -- and very lost -- pitcher even within seasons in which he pitches well as a starter. So long as Thornton is relegated to facing lefties, and only in situations that Franklin Morales isn't necessary for (or in games where he has already been used), then things should be fine.
The Red Sox are expected to announce their rotation and roster soon, with the series starting on Friday, so we'll know for sure about this last spot one way or the other before long.
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