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Red Sox announce Opening Day roster, place three on disabled list

Things are locked in, with a surprise mixed in.

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Pittsburgh Pirates Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Opening Day is just a couple days away now, and while there is still a little bit of spring training remaining the Grapefruit League slate is over and teams are just about ready to get started for real. Part of that is getting all of the roster cuts done and figuring out how the roster is going to look on Opening Day. The Red Sox have done just that, selecting their 25 to start the year.

On the position player side of things, there really isn’t much surprise. Once the team dealt Deven Marrero to Arizona, there was no more suspense about what things would look like. The following position players will be kept in the majors.

  1. Christian Vazuquez
  2. Sandy Leon
  3. Blake Swihart
  4. Hanley Ramirez
  5. Mitch Moreland
  6. Eduardo Nuñez
  7. Xander Bogaerts
  8. Rafael Devers
  9. Brock Holt
  10. Andrew Benintendi
  11. Jackie Bradley Jr.
  12. Mookie Betts
  13. J.D. Martinez

On the pitching side, it was a bit more of an open question of who would fill the last couple roster spots. For one thing, it wasn’t entirely clear if any of Eduardo Rodriguez, Drew Pomeranz or Steven Wright would be ready. All three were placed on the disabled list to start the season. Wright being placed on the DL is particularly surprising given his 15-game suspension, which doesn’t count until he’s off the disabled list. It seemed logical for the team to let him serve that suspension while getting healthy. The only reasons not to do this would seemingly be fear of punishment for somewhat obviously manipulating the system by the league or the inability for Wright to make a rehab appearance in this scenario. Perhaps there’s another reason that I am overlooking, though.

Here is the list of pitchers who will be on the roster.

  1. Chris Sale
  2. David Price
  3. Rick Porcello
  4. Brian Johnson
  5. Hector Velazquez
  6. Craig Kimbrel
  7. Carson Smith
  8. Matt Barnes
  9. Joe Kelly
  10. Heath Hembree
  11. Bobby Poyner
  12. Marcus Walden

We all knew that Brian Johnson would get the fourth rotation spot — though, technically, he’ll be making the start in the fifth game of the season in Miami — but there was some question about who would join him in the back of the rotation. Velazquez’ 2017 experience won out despite the Mexican’s tough spring. In the bullpen, the first five spots were essentially locks, but the final two are a little surprising. Poyner has put up bananas numbers in the minors and has been incredibly impressive this spring. That was enough to earn him a role as the team’s lone lefty in the ‘pen despite his half-season of experience above High-A. Walden has spent a long time as a Triple-A swingman in a couple organizations, but he performed well in that role last year and impressed the coaching staff this spring. I’m really surprised this spot didn’t go to Brandon Workman or even Justin Haley if they had a desire for a long reliever. It’s unclear how the Red Sox made room for both Poyner and Walden on the 40-man roster, as they only had one open spot. My assumption is that either Tyler Thornburg, Dustin Pedroia or Marco Hernandez will be placed on the 60-day disabled list.