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Monday, February 19, 2018

An Overdue Look at the Roster

Well I don’t think we had February 19th on the day this would all come together but it has and we can now get serious about the Sox Opening Day roster.  Let’s have a go;

IF: Mitch Moreland, Eduardo Nunez, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Brock Holt, Deven Marrero

It looks like Dustin Pedroia won’t be ready for Opening Day (though I imagine he will say otherwise).  The signing of Nunez isn’t the marquis signing of the weekend but it is a very good one.  The price is right and he is exactly the guy the Sox needed.  Marrero is out of options and I think the Sox would like to keep him hanging around.

Tzu-Wei Lin, Esteban Quiroz* and Sam Travis add some potential short term fixes in the minors.

Redsox.com lists him as “Jesus Quiroz” but every bit of reporting I’ve seen calls him Esteban.

OF: Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts

Holt obviously acts as a 4th outfielder and Martinez can play left as needed so not having a true “backup outfielder” is not really an issue.  Bryce Brentz suddenly finds himself as a potential odd man out.  Like Marrero he is out of options so he could win this spot at Marrero’s expense.

C: Christian Vazquez, Sandy Leon

Like infield and outfield there is an out of options player here in the form of Blake Swihart.  Alex Cora has said Swihart will be looked at as a second baseman among other places so it looks like from a positional standpoint the Sox have a three man battle for one spot.  My gut says Marrero has the inside track but I’d bet Swihart’s upside and versatility may make him more likely than Brentz to steal that spot.

DH: J.D. Martinez, Hanley Ramirez

Not much to say here.  The question I have is how the option on Hanley works.  If they ship him out or release him (both possibilities) and he meets the vesting option are the Sox on the hook for 2019’s salary or does that go to the team that acquires him?  If it’s the former then the Sox probably would be wise to keep him around.

SP: Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, Drew Pomeranz, Brian Johnson

Uncertainty due to injury in the shape of Eduardo Rodriguez and off field issues in the case of Steven Wright make the fifth spot a bit of a crapshoot.  Johnson is another guy without options so he might be in a position to make a start or two in the early season.

Chris Sale is very good.

RP: Craig Kimbrel, Tyler Thornburgh, Carson Smith, Joe Kelly, Robby Scott, Heath Hembree, Matt Barnes

VI is currently in morning over the DFAing of Ben Taylor.  Beyond that there is not a lot at work here.  An injury in the bullpen could open up spots for guys like Austin Maddox, Roenis Elias, Jalen Beeks, Chandler Shepherd and Ty Buttrey.

Injuries will likely make things change on this list.  For now this is my best guess of what my parents will see when they go to Tampa on March 29.

Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 19, 2018 at 07:03 PM | 41 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: February 20, 2018 at 12:51 PM (#5627424)
VI is currently in morning over the DFAing of Ben Taylor.  Beyond that there is not a lot at work here.
In fairness, there's not a lot at work here even considering the DFAing of Ben Taylor.

The Red Sox have done an exceptional job of assembling bullpens that look great on paper, but never really fulfill that. Injuries to Thornburg and Smith, and a little faltering by Barnes, were the big reasons for this in 2017. I always liked how they had this layer of decent arms shuttling between Pawtucket and Boston when someone got hurt, but that layer is getting thin. Hembree and Barnes are mainstays; Scott deserves to be; and Ben Taylor ain't walking through that door.
   2. Nasty Nate Posted: February 20, 2018 at 12:58 PM (#5627430)
VI is currently in morning over the DFAing of Ben Taylor.
What time zone is he in?
The Red Sox have done an exceptional job of assembling bullpens that look great on paper, but never really fulfill that. Injuries to Thornburg and Smith, and a little faltering by Barnes, were the big reasons for this in 2017.
I think we'd all be happy if the bullpen this year performed as well as it did in 2017.
----
Re: OF: I mentioned him in the other thread, but what about Rusney Castillo?
   3. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 20, 2018 at 01:19 PM (#5627443)
If Castillo is hitting in Pawtucket and there are injuries I think there is a chance he will get a shot but I think they would prefer not to spend the money. Beyond the luxury tax as I understand it the Sox would drop ten spots in the draft next year if they add about $5 million in salary this year.

It's hard to feel bad for a guy earning $72 million to play minor league baseball but I do. Dude is getting pretty well hosed. Maybe he isn't any good but he's not even getting the chance.
   4. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 20, 2018 at 01:21 PM (#5627445)
Did I really spell it "morning?" What the ####? I'm leaving it like that to expose my stupidity.
   5. Buck Coats Posted: February 20, 2018 at 01:29 PM (#5627453)
Presumably if another team thought Rusney was any good they could trade for him (with Boston picking up a large part of the tab)
   6. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 20, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5627456)
Buck - The problem with that is the Sox wouldn't do that because they would have to absorb the portion they pick up into their luxury tax calculation. So the Sox would need to get a deal that would make that risk worthwhile and I can't imagine a team acquiring Castillo would be interested in such a thing.
   7. Textbook Editor Posted: February 20, 2018 at 01:37 PM (#5627466)
It's hard to feel bad for a guy earning $72 million to play minor league baseball but I do. Dude is getting pretty well hosed. Maybe he isn't any good but he's not even getting the chance.


Well, if he rakes in AAA, he forces his way out (or up!) and maybe even becomes a decent trade piece (assuming, if the raking only is in AAA, that the Red Sox pick up some salary).

But really, if injuries hit the OF, it would probably mean:

1 OF down = Martinez to LF full-time, other 2 OF mixing/matching CF/RF
2 OF down = Martinez to LF, remaining OF left in CF, Holt to RF (short term)

If 2 OF go down for extended time + Castillo is raking at AAA, I can see a scenario where they might bring him up, especially if it's the last couple months of the season or something (because then only the pro-rated portion of the $11 million would count for tax purposes, right?)... But that's an awful lot shoes to drop to make that happen.

Still, if he does well he's only on a 2/$24.5 after this year... If JBJ has a decent season I'm sure his arb amount next year would be in the $10+ million range... you can sort of squint and see them trading JBJ and bringing up Castillo to replace him (not in CF, obviously, Betts/Benintendi move over).

I suppose what I'm saying is--I think it's still uncertain how the Castillo years play out. He may well be with the big club and get regular PT before the contract runs out.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: February 20, 2018 at 01:45 PM (#5627474)
If Castillo is hitting in Pawtucket and there are injuries I think there is a chance he will get a shot but I think they would prefer not to spend the money. Beyond the luxury tax as I understand it the Sox would drop ten spots in the draft next year if they add about $5 million in salary this year.
I don't know. With all the resources they've spent assembling this team, I don't think they'll keep him down if he is deserving just because of (relatively) small financial/draft penalties.
   9. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 20, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5627533)
Bryce Brentz to the Pirates for cash considerations.
   10. Textbook Editor Posted: February 20, 2018 at 03:02 PM (#5627556)
That's a decent pickup for the Pirates, and I'm glad Brentz will be getting a shot at an MLB job.

So the depth is basically Martinez/Holt now. And I guess maybe Swihart. And, of course, Castillo.

If it's 2 of Holt/Marrero/Swihart, I think there's a non-zero chance Holt gets moved. He's not expensive (nor would he be next year, in all likelihood), and has some IF/OF value I could see a NL team biting on.

Failing that move (or trading Leon and committing to Swihart as a 40 G/year catcher backing up Vasquez), they may have Swihart (or Marrero) come down with a muscle injury at the end of ST. I would really, really hate for them to get rid of Swihart, and at this point I'd rather have the upside/potential of Swihart on the 25-man than Holt (if it came down to those two).

#6--Jose, I did not know that that was the case when picking up the cost for moving a minor league player... That (sort of) also explains why they couldn't move Craig ever--if they moved him for (essentially) free for the other team, they'd have taken a massive tax hit to do that... far better to let him quietly play out the contract in AAA. I see WHY that rule is in place, but it certainly doesn't help the player in such situations.
   11. Nasty Nate Posted: February 20, 2018 at 03:27 PM (#5627581)
I think they changed that quirk of the luxury tax calculation, but Rusney is grandfathered in.
   12. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 20, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5627646)
From Rob Bradford today. I don't really know what I think of it;

(Moreland and Ramirez) said all the right things and certainly couldn't have been blindsided by the move. But, still, there is an understanding that some pecking order needs to be established with Martinez clearly ready to get the majority of the at-bats at designated hitter.

Alex Cora would seem to be not waiting around.

The discovery of Cora's initial plan was somewhat accidental. It came as a product of a question regarding who might be the Red Sox' No. 3 hitter. We knew the leadoff guy (Mookie Betts), and Andrew Benintendi was being slotted in second. But in the three-spot? That was answered just after noon on Tuesday.

"As of now? Hanley Ramirez," the Red Sox manager said.
   13. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 20, 2018 at 05:01 PM (#5627657)
At some point Marrero needs to prove he can actually hit major league pitching. If he is out of options, why not just dump him and use Marco Hernandez in his place? I would much rather the Sox try and go big with Swihart than keep Marrero around.
   14. jmurph Posted: February 20, 2018 at 05:07 PM (#5627665)
From Rob Bradford today. I don't really know what I think of it;

Maybe just that the signing isn't official? I'm admittedly not reading the entire piece, just the excerpt.
   15. Textbook Editor Posted: February 21, 2018 at 09:38 AM (#5627902)
From Rob Bradford today. I don't really know what I think of it;


Could be that Hanley--if healthy--will be getting the lion's share of 1B playing time, with Moreland getting maybe 2-3 starts a week/doing the Eyechart late-innings defensive sub thing.

I really do think the roster is constructed to rotate guys heavily, so it may be a bit of a moot point. If Hanley starts at 1B on Opening Day it hardly means Moreland will only play 40 G this season.
   16. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 21, 2018 at 09:49 AM (#5627904)
My issue isn't Hanley over Moreland it's Hanley batting third. I guess he makes as much sense as anyone else if you must have JDM bat clean up but it just feels off. Boy adding him to the lineup moves things pretty dramatically. JBJ batting ninth is pretty potent. I felt good about the team prior to the signing but I've surprised myself with just how excited I am now. Adding Martinez to a lineup that I felt was already poised to be considerably better due to bounceback seasons is incredibly exciting.

FYI Saturday's ST game is on NESN at 1PM.
   17. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 21, 2018 at 10:38 AM (#5627947)
The signing of Nunez isn’t the marquis signing of the weekend

Sorry for the nit pick, but that should be "marquee signing". The Theatre billboard, not the French noble.
   18. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 21, 2018 at 11:01 AM (#5627984)
Look, I already fessed up on "morning", cut a guy some slack. I'm magnanimous so I won't mention nitpick is one word.
   19. villageidiom Posted: February 21, 2018 at 11:12 AM (#5627996)
If you'd wanted to argue that it was an intentional statement, and that Nunez's new dirt-dog nickname is "Marquis de Sod", I would've had your back.
   20. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 21, 2018 at 11:22 AM (#5628003)
I would like to retroactively state that Nunez is actually the Marquis de Sod and any other comments that may have been misconstrued by Yankee fans as erroneous were in fact correct.
   21. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 21, 2018 at 11:23 AM (#5628004)
GUYS GUYS GUYS, the college games are on NESN tomorrow. TELEVISUAL BASEBALL!!!!
   22. villageidiom Posted: February 21, 2018 at 11:55 AM (#5628033)
I would like to retroactively state that Nunez is actually the Marquis de Sod and any other comments that may have been misconstrued by Yankee fans as erroneous were in fact correct.
Saves me the trouble of calling him Edgar.
   23. Nasty Nate Posted: February 21, 2018 at 12:04 PM (#5628039)
But is Nunez lanky?
   24. jmurph Posted: February 21, 2018 at 01:13 PM (#5628102)
Saves me the trouble of calling him Edgar.

I already called JDM Fernando Martinez yesterday, rather than JD. Was that ever a person? Mets, maybe?

Anyway I've reached the point of life where I'm unable to learn new names, and I'm not even 40 yet. This could get ugly fast.
   25. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 21, 2018 at 01:20 PM (#5628113)
Saves me the trouble of calling him Edgar.


No sense confusing him with Rodriguez.

But is Nunez lanky?


Moderately so. Not like Rubby though.

   26. villageidiom Posted: February 21, 2018 at 02:29 PM (#5628186)
I already called JDM Fernando Martinez yesterday, rather than JD. Was that ever a person? Mets, maybe?
Mets and Astros. Nice job! I was planning to throw in some snark with ABBA lyrics, but your memory was too good not to commend.
Anyway I've reached the point of life where I'm unable to learn new names, and I'm not even 40 yet. This could get ugly fast.
Do you still recall the frightful night we crossed the Rio Grande?
   27. jmurph Posted: February 21, 2018 at 03:00 PM (#5628227)
Nice, but I'm more of a Jenny Lewis man.
   28. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 21, 2018 at 05:49 PM (#5628326)
I'm not even 40 yet. This could get ugly fast.


Nah, not yet. I'm 53, the decline phase really began around 46-47. Up until then I could still see, had hair and could hear reasonably well.
Unfortunately genetics took care of the hair, computers and being a voracious reader probably wrecked the vision early and 500+ LA punk concerts(yes most of them were cr*p) from 1977-1983 pretty much took 30% of my hearing.
   29. John DiFool2 Posted: February 21, 2018 at 08:02 PM (#5628366)
The signing of Nunez isn’t the marquis signing of the weekend but it is a very good one.


Edit: Cokes all around.
   30. SoSH U at work Posted: February 21, 2018 at 08:07 PM (#5628367)
Sorry for the nit pick, but that should be "marquee signing". The Theatre billboard, not the French noble.


Sadly, Jason was never both kinds.
   31. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 21, 2018 at 08:58 PM (#5628392)
Joe Kelly took a Brock Holt line drive on the ankle today and had to be helped out. Cora says they think they’ve dodged a bullet and he will be OK. This early in camp I’m not too worried but even missing a week to 10 days for a pitcher (not that they are saying he will miss that time) might put him behind enough that he’s not ready right away.
   32. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 21, 2018 at 09:09 PM (#5628396)
X-Rays negative according to Peter Abraham.

Chandler Shepherd, Kyle Martin and Jalen Beeks will be pitching tomorrow. The first two in the day game, Beeks tomorrow night. Hector Velazquez makes the start on Saturday.
   33. villageidiom Posted: February 21, 2018 at 11:32 PM (#5628440)
Nah, not yet. I'm 53, the decline phase really began around 46-47.
Since my late 20s I always felt ten years younger than my actual age. Then I hit 47, and I felt my age. 47 was a rough year.
   34. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 21, 2018 at 11:46 PM (#5628450)
Since my late 20s I always felt ten years younger than my actual age. Then I hit 47, and I felt my age. 47 was a rough year.


My situation was nearly identical. And it happens fast. One day you're just owning the world and the next morning you feel like an old man. It's quite startling. My wife says I have now entered my philosophical phase where I now ponder things. Which I suppose is the precursor to the "get off my lawn" phase.
   35. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 23, 2018 at 10:12 AM (#5629433)
Per Evan Drellich Marco Hernandez has gone back to Boston for an additional surgery on his shoulder and is out at least until the start of the regular season. Presumably that moves Tzu-Wei Lin up the depth chart. He also tweeted that Cora said Vazquez and Leon are his catchers.
   36. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 24, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5630009)
Man I love watching Devers hit. Fooled on an 0-2 pitch he stays back just enough to line a double over the left fielders head.
   37. Chip Posted: February 24, 2018 at 02:59 PM (#5630034)
Nice, but I'm more of a Jenny Lewis man.


That Jenny Lewis isn’t a huge star is a testament to how ###### up the music biz is these days.
   38. Darren Posted: February 25, 2018 at 04:39 PM (#5630275)
Guys, please keep in mind that certain people might be 47.
   39. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 25, 2018 at 04:43 PM (#5630282)
47 is a great age, the best age.
   40. villageidiom Posted: February 26, 2018 at 08:04 AM (#5630479)
When I said "47 was a rough year" I should have added "and it's not over yet".
   41. Jose is an Absurd Doubles Machine Posted: February 26, 2018 at 10:10 AM (#5630506)
Speaking of overdue, JD Martinez is finally finally finally a member of the Boston Red Sox.

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