Today is Opening Day for the league as a whole, but the majority of the league doesn’t get started until Friday. The Red Sox are a part of that group, but they did have to submit their Opening Day 30-man roster today by noon. They certainly took their sweet time in releasing the roster, but it is out now. Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe has it in full, and we’ll go over position group by position group below.
Christian Vázquez, Jonathan Lucroy, Kevin Plawecki
No surprise here. There was some uncertainty as to whether or not they would really carry three catchers, but in the end it always seemed to make the most sense. This will be a decision to make down the road between Lucroy and Plawecki, but for now they’ll both be there.
Mitch Moreland, José Peraza, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Michael Chavis, Jonathan Araúz, Tzu-Wei Lin
Again, no major surprise here. We already knew this morning that Araúz was going to make it, and Lin was another fringe player who was a little uncertain. That said, he is out of options so it always made more sense to give him a chance initially. The man on the outside looking in here is Yairo Muñoz, whose real chance to make the roster seemed to lie on the Red Sox deciding to carry only two catchers.
Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., Alex Verdugo, J.D. Martinez, Kevin Pillar
Once again, this is chalk. The interest here is in how the playing time will be split, but as long as everyone is healthy all five of these guys should stay on the roster all year. (Barring trades, at least.)
Starting Pitchers (3)
Nathan Eovaldi, Martín Pérez, Ryan Weber
These were the three who were always locked in. It seemed like there were a couple more who were likely that I predicted last week, but ultimately only these three made it for now. We’ll get to the ones left off in a minute.
Matt Hall, Dylan Covey
If the Red Sox stick to this roster for the first time through the rotation, these are the fourth and fifth starters in some order. I think they are better as bulk guys after an opener or better yet as a long reliever, and at the very least in a piggyback situation, but right now they are it. Hall has reportedly looked pretty good in camp, to be fair. As for Covey, he needed to be added to the 40-man as part of his acquisition from the Rays, so you might as well put him on the active roster, at least for now.
Relief Pitchers (10)
Brandon Workman, Matt Barnes, Marcus Walden, Ryan Brasier, Colten Brewer, Austin Brice, Heath Hembree, Jeffrey Springs, Josh Osich, Phillips Váldez
The first seven names on this list were basically no brainers in my mind. No surprises there. Springs and Osich weren’t necessarily shoo-ins, but with Josh Taylor and Darwinzon Hernandez both on the IL after missing camp due to positive COVID tests, the Red Sox needed some lefties here. That will be their role, and this is their shot to prove they should stick around. Váldez is, to me, the most surprising name on this entire roster. I suspect he won’t be up for too long, but he can provide long relief mop up innings if needed. I assume that will be his role, at least, but you know what they say about assuming.
Yairo Muñoz, Brian Johnson, Zack Godley, Chris Mazza
Muñoz I discussed above, and I suspect he’ll get his chance when either an injury occurs to a position player or Araúz and/or Lin play their way off the roster. Johnson and Godley I had predicted as part of the initial rotation. For Godley, Christ Hatfield of Sox Prospects reminded me that he has an opt out in a week and will probably be up soon with maybe one more tune up workout to stretch out a bit more. Johnson is stretched out, but like Godley is off the 40-man. For either to be added someone has to be designated for assignment as the 40-man is not full. This seems like trying to keep as much depth for as long as possible. As for Mazza, I honestly didn’t think it was all that surprising that he didn’t make it, but everyone else seems surprised so I’ll throw him in here.
One last note: Remember that the 30-man roster lasts only two weeks. Rosters must be cut to 28 by 12:00 PM ET on August 6.