Today is Opening Day for the league as a whole, with the Yankees taking on the Nationals at 7:00 PM ET and the Dodgers and Giants facing off after that. For the rest of the league things will get underway on Friday, but today is still a big day as Opening Day rosters must be finalized on Thursday. There aren’t a whole lot of questions as to who will make it for the Red Sox, but there are a few. Among them is who will be on the bench to back up the infielders. According to Jon Heyman, one of them will indeed be Jonathan Araúz.
Jonathan Arauz, Infielder and Rule 5 pickup from the Astros, has made the Red Sox— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 23, 2020
This is both not a huge surprise and also a pretty big deal. It’s a big deal because Araúz was a Rule 5 selection for the Red Sox, a team that really never takes advantage of that avenue for acquiring players. They did select and use Josh Rutledge back in 2016, but that was a little bit different because he had already been a major leaguer before that. They also selected and kept Miguel Gonzalez in 2008, but he never actually pitched for them that year due to injury. The last time they’ve selected and kept a minor leaguer in this draft was way back in 2005 when they picked outfielder Adam Stern. This just generally isn’t how they do things.
And yet, they are taking a chance on Araúz. To be fair, it is a much different season and it’s a lot easier to keep a Rule 5 selection when you only have 60 games. It’s even easier when you’re a fringe contender. The expectation here has long been that both Araúz and Tzu-Wei Lin would make the roster.
As for the player himself, the former Astro and Phillies prospect can play both middle infield spots and has gotten some time at third base as well. He’s impressed on both sides of the ball in camp, though don’t take that to mean anything other than him being a back up option. Even in case of injury, I’d expect someone else to take over a starting role. Last season, in his age-20 season, he split time between High-A and Double-A and hit .249/.319/.388.
We’ll be sure to keep you posted all day on the roster decisions as they come through.