The Red Sox are preparing for their trip to Montreal to face the Blue Jays in what will be their final pre-season games before actual baseball that counts. Part of that process is figuring out the Opening Day roster now so that it's in place in time for the trip to Canada, and that means officially placing injured players on the disabled list. The Sox will begin 2016 with four players on the DL.
Lefty starter Eduardo Rodriguez and right-handed reliever Carson Smith will both begin 2016 on the disabled list and off the Red Sox roster. Rodriguez should be able to work his way into the rotation by the end of April, as he's already recovered from the knee injury that caused him to fall behind this spring in the first place. Smith's return is a bit more up in the air after an MRI revealed a strained flexor mass muscle in his throwing arm, but he's expected for more of 2016 than he is not.
The other two DL spots are from pitchers who were not expected to make the big-league roster initially, but could find themselves there eventually. Righty Brandon Workman missed 2015 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in June, so he might not be back in Boston until the end of the year as he continues his recovery process. Christian Vazquez has been playing in spring training games, but isn't quite 100 percent after his own Tommy John, so the Sox will have him start 2016 on the DL before working him into the Triple-A lineup.
The Sox are in a good place, relatively speaking, with just the one long-term injury to worry about to begin the season. Rodriguez should be back before too long, Smith hopefully just needs time off to heal his strain instead of something more severe, and neither of Workman nor Vazquez are necessary components on the roster just yet. There are worse ways to start a season.