Opening Day Roster
Lots of Sox Therapy posts lately but I’ll add another one since with Opening Day just two weeks away I think it’s time we had an Opening Day Roster thread. Things are starting to fall into shape with injuries and performances clearing up some open questions. David Ortiz’ injury is the one that’s going to get the headlines but with yesterday’s Boston.com story about Stephen Drew I think we have to acknowledge that our Opening Day shortstop is going to be someone other than Drew.
With that in mind here is one man’s pass at an Opening Day roster (note this is a guess, not a wish);
1B – Mike Napoli
2B – Dustin Pedroia
3B – Will Middlebrooks
SS – Jose Iglesias
LF – Jonny Gomes
CF – Jacoby Ellsbury
RF – Shane Victorino
C – Jarrod Saltalamacchia
1B – Mike Carp
UTIL – Pedro Ciriaco
OF – Ryan Sweeney
OF – Daniel Nava
C – David Ross
Notable DL – David Ortiz, Stephen Drew
Notable Minor Leagues - Ryan Lavarnway, Brock Holt, Mauro Gomez
There are two meaningful decisions to be made it seems. I think Sweeney is well-regarded enough by the club and has played well enough (.265/.359/.294) that the club would prefer not to lose him so he has the inside track on the OF/DH slot that is freed up in Ortiz’ absence. The other one is the backup first baseman. I go back and forth on this one between Carp and Overbay and I think Carp by virtue of youth and the fact that he was traded for probably gets the gig. I think Overbay is a better fit as a superior defensive first baseman though.
One guy I want to mention is Juan Carlos Linares (.345/.355/.586). Sample sizes and opposition quality issues impact all Spring numbers of course but Linares doesn’t seem to be on the radar. Frankly I’d love to see him take the DH role for the first couple of weeks and see what happens. I’ve been a fanboy of his for awhile though so take that for what it’s worth.
I think Iglesias gets sent down upon Drew’s return.
SP – Jon Lester, Ryan Dempster, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, Felix Doubront
RP – Joel Hanrahan, Andrew Bailey, Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara, Alfredo Aceves, Andrew Miller, Clayton Mortensen
Notable DL – Craig Breslow, Franklin Morales
Notable Minor Leagues - Daniel Bard
I think the Sox like Mortensen enough that he’ll be kept since he is out of options (according to Sox Prospects). It’s a bit frustrating that Bard and Tazawa are quite possibly the two best relievers the Sox have yet they also are likely to be on the Pawtucket shuttle by virtue of having options.
The return of Morales and/or Breslow is going to make things hinky if there isn’t an injury or a trade before they return. I would not be the least bit surprised if Aceves is dealt before Opening Day.
I don’t think that Allen Webster’s great Spring has vaulted him into serious consideration for a spot to start the season but I think a good start as a starter in Pawtucket will put him a bit higher on the depth chart when an injury to a starter happens.
Inevitably every time I go through an exercise like this I miss someone obvious. I look forward to someone pointing out “hey, you missed this guy you idiot.”