J.D. Martinez and Mookie Betts are making the playoff roster. I’m pretty sure we all know this. I’m also pretty sure we all know that we’re going to be going into the playoffs as the official division winners, with the top seed in the playoffs, as we wait to see which wild card team gets the daunting task of having to steal a game (or two!) in Fenway Park.
As we wait for that moment, however, we have a few small questions, especially regarding the back-end of the playoff roster. The Chris Sales, Rick Porcellos, and Xander Bogaerts of the world aren’t going to be debated. They are on the roster. So too, will Mookie and J.D. You can add Andrew Benintendi, Mitch Moreland, Steve Pearce, Ian Kinsler, Craig Kimbrel, and Matt Barnes to that list too. You can add a few more to add to that, but then you start getting into testy territory.
Do we really want to roster three catchers? Do we want to take a chance on Tyler Thornburg in the playoffs? Is Rafael Devers doing enough to play or should we give his spot to Eduardo Nunez, and bring in another backup infielder to play multiple positions? Do we dare leave a starter off the roster, in the hopes of adding another fresh bullpen arm? Do we even have a bullpen arm worth adding?
There are a lot of questions regarding the roster slots of the players after the top 15-20, and the beauty of it is, I’m not sure you could make a wrong argument (unless you are arguing for Hector Velazquez over Craig Kimbrel, because come on). This team is extremely good, but there are definite weak points, and the Red Sox will have to pick their poison.
So this week, my official question is:
How do you fill out the back-end of the Red Sox playoff roster? What players have impressed you down the stretch, and played themselves into a slot? What players have played themselves out of one?
I’m mostly curious to see everyone’s opinions on the bullpen. I think the lineup is pretty set, but the catcher question is a big one for me too.