Editor’s Note: This post has been updated after new reports have contradicted an original report stating that Rob Refsnyder had made the Opening Day roster. Apologies for the error.
With Opening Day on Thursday, teams only have a few days left to finalize their roster to start the season. For the Red Sox, they still have a handful of spots left to fill, including at least one on the bench. Earlier reports, and an earlier version of this story, indicated that Rob Refsnyder would make the team. However, newer reports have come out, including from Chad Jennings of The Athletic, that Refsnyder in fact did not make the team and will accept an assignment down to Triple-A Worcester.
Refsnyder was a minor-league signing from this past winter who had originally come up with the Yankees as an infielder but more recently has served as a corner outfielder. In the spring, the 31-year-old hit .185/.290/.370. Over his career, he’s played parts of six seasons in the majors, putting up a career 71 wRC+ with good walk rates, but little power and too many strikeouts. Last season with Minnesota he hit .245/.325/.388 over 157 plate appearances with an 86 wRC+.
Moving Refsnyder on to the active roster would have created a need to make room on the 40-man as well, which could have been a tall task considering Travis Shaw, who looks likely to make the roster, will need room as well, and another space may be needed to add another reliever on top of that. Instead, Refnsyder will go down to Worcester and provide some insurance on the farm, and perhaps try to play well enough to either get a chance in Boston later in the year or to opt out and get that chance with someone else. That last spot on the bench, assuming Shaw, Christian Arroyo, and Kevin Plawecki are the other three, could go to someone like Franchy Cordero, who is also not on the 40-man, Jonathan Araúz, who is on the 40-man but is not an outfielder, or someone outside the organization who hits waivers or becomes available in trade this week.