It's been a busy couple of days when it's come to Boston's roster. Let's try and settle down where everything stands as we begin the series against the Cleveland Indians.
First thing's first: Mike Napoli and Shane Victorino are still hurt. Mike Napoli is expected back on Sunday, June 8th, meaning the Red Sox still have a week left without him. The news is less positive when it comes to Victorino, who has yet to have any sort of schedule set for his return. Will Middlebrooks, too, is absent for the foreseeable future.
Mike Carp is not truly a "new" injury per se, but the severity is newly discovered. A CT scan revealed Sunday that he suffered a fracture in his foot during the series against the Braves. This has landed him on the disabled list, from which he will likely not return anytime soon.
Alex Wilson, who was with the team for about a week, was optioned before Sunday's game to make room for Garin Cecchini. Wilson had just pitched two innings the night before, and the Red Sox decided that, with Carp clearly not ready to go, they wanted some depth in the infield. Cecchini gave them that and a double besides, but his time with the team was never going to last long, and he's already headed back to Pawtucket.
Daniel Nava's return to the team was likewise brief, ending when the Red Sox optioned him to call up Rubby De La Rosa for Saturday's start against the Rays. Now, however, he's on his way back, and will be taking the place of the injured Mike Carp before Monday's game.
That leaves just Cecchini's roster spot, and that's where Stephen Drew comes in. The shortstop will return to the Red Sox before Monday's game against the Indians, and likely take up his home between second and third.
So where does that leave us? Well, here's what the position player situation looks like right now, starting with the starters:
Catcher: A.J. Pierzynski
First Base: Brock Holt
Second Base: Dustin Pedroia
Shortstop: Stephen Drew
Third Base: Xander Bogaerts
Left Field: Jonny Gomes*
Center Field: Jackie Bradley Jr.
Right Field: Grady Sizemore
Designated Hitter: David Ortiz
Backup IF: Jonathan Herrera
Backup OF: Daniel Nava, Alex Hassan
Backup C: David Ross
*Ideally, this would probably be Nava and Gomes in a platoon, but John Farrell hasn't really stuck to that plan at all.
Yeah, that's Brock Holt, starting first baseman. At least for a week. And the thing is, it's pretty much impossible to argue against. Is he a natural first baseman? No, but who on Boston's roster is? Napoli and Carp are on the disabled list, and the next first baseman in the system is Travis Shaw. Having Holt play there will allow the Red Sox to get Stephen Drew in the lineup without shelving Holt's ridiculously hot bat, and if Holt might not have the nuances down at first, at the very least he's got a lot more range than is typically expected at the position.
The pitching situation is slightly less complicated. Basically it is what it has been all year, just with straight swaps of Buchholz and Doubront for Rubby De La Rosa and Brandon Workman. Even if the path to actually get there was...rather more convoluted.
So there you have it: your 2014 Red Sox team as it stands on June 2nd. It's a convoluted mess featuring plenty of players we might not have expected to see the majors in 2014. And somehow it's got all the important pieces from Boston's seven-game winning streak. What a strange game baseball can be.