The Red Sox made a series of roster moves on Saturday as we get closer and closer to Opening Day. With Deven Marrero being sent to Arizona, the position player side of the Opening Day roster appears clear, with the following 13 set to make it.
- Christian Vazquez
- Hanley Ramirez
- Eduardo Nuñez
- Xander Bogaerts
- Rafael Devers
- Andrew Benintendi
- Jackie Bradley Jr.
- Mookie Betts
- J.D. Martinez
- Mitch Moreland
- Sandy Leon
- Blake Swihart
- Brock Holt
While the battles on the position player side, and specifically the battle between Holt and Marrero, were the most interesting of camp, there are still some decisions to be made with the pitchers. With Drew Pomeranz and Eduardo Rodriguez set to start the year on the disabled list and Steven Wright serving a 15-game suspension, the Red Sox will need two starters to join Chris Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello in the rotation. Brian Johnson has one of those spots locked up, so it’s a three-man battle for the last spot between Hector Velazquez, Justin Haley and Marcus Walden. Velazquez has long been the favorite given his solid major-league performance last year, but he’s had a rough spring. Haley, meanwhile, also had some major-league experience last year after being selected in the Rule 5 draft by the Twins and he’s had a great spring. Walden has also had a great spring, though he’s the longshot of the group. Velazquez is still the favorite in my mind, but don’t sleep on Haley’s chances.
Meanwhile, the bullpen appears to be set with only seven relievers left in camp. Those relievers are Craig Kimbrel, Carson Smith, Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, Heath Hembree, Brandon Workman and Bobby Poyner. Poyner has been tremendous this spring and looks to be a surprise addition to the Opening Day roster, and they already opened up a 40-man roster spot for him if it’s needed with the Marrero trade. It’s always possible they’ll look to keep on one of the starter candidates as a long reliever and option one of Workman or Poyner, but my bet is that both make the roster.
As alluded to above, Brian Johnson had a strong spring, and with it he won over the Red Sox brass. (Peter Abraham; Boston Globe)
Chris Sale spoke with the media after getting hit with a line drive, saying it looked worse than it really was. (Ryan Hannable; WEEI)
Steven Wright also spoke with the media, in his case about his 15-game suspension. (Christopher Smith; Masslive)
Did the Red Sox make a mistake in trading Deven Marrero given their lack of infield defense around the diamond? (Sean McAdam; Boston Sports Journal)