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Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Roster - Part Deux

With pitchers and catchers officially in camp, winter transactions pretty solidly wrapped up and health issues starting to clarify I figured today might be a good day to run through the roster again and see where we are.

Starters:
1B – Mitch Moreland
2B – Dustin Pedroia
3B – Pablo Sandoval
SS – Xander Bogaerts
LF – Andrew Benintendi
CF – Jackie Bradley Jr.
RF – Mookie Betts
C – Sandy Leon
DH – Hanley Ramirez

Bench:
IF – Brock Holt
IF - Marco Hernandez
OF – Chris Young
C – Christian Vazquez

The addition of Moreland (the afternoon I posted version 1.0) indicates he is the likely regular first baseman.  I think the dream scenario for the Sox is that Benintendi handles lefties well enough to play every day and that when the Sox face an LHP Chris Young is the DH and Hanley moves to first base.  There isn’t a lot in the way of question marks here.  Marco Hernandez is probably the biggest one but I think he has the inside track.  Injuries could change this but for now this is the 13 guys most likely to be on the first base line come April 3.

I think there is some good news that Pablo Sandoval is NOT playing in the WBC.  I do not mind guys playing in the WBC but it would be a really bad optic for Sandoval not to be in camp with the Sox throughout.  Suffice it to say all eyes will be on him.

Others:
1B – Sam Travis
IF – Deven Marrero
IF - Josh Rutledge
OF – Rusney Castillo
OF – Aneury Tavarez
OF - Carlos Quentin
IF/OF - Junior Lake
C - Blake Swihart

Rutledge, Quentin and Lake seem like guys that have an outside shot to steal that 25th roster spot.  Quentin has a history of success and at 34 he is not as old as I thought he was.  Lake has a versatility (or did, he hasn’t played infield since 2013 but maybe in a pinch…) that might serve him well.  I would not bet on either guy making the roster but neither will I be shocked if either guy makes it.  I will be shocked if either guy plays a game for the Sox after Memorial Day.

I still believe that by June 1 Blake Swihart is the regular catcher.

Rotation:
Rick Porcello
David Price
Chris Sale
Drew Pomeranz
Eduardo Rodriguez

OK, let’s start with the good news…I didn’t forget to include the Venezuelan Viper this time around.  This is a good start.  Trying to read between the lines a bit I’m saying of the three semi-injured back end guys (Pomeranz, Rodriguez and Wright) that Steven Wright is the most likely to be on the DL come Opening Day.  Regardless this is shaping up to be an outstanding rotation.  It will be interesting to see who Farrell taps for Opening Day duties; the reigning Cy Young, the long running star or the major new acquisition.  I would guess it will be Porcello.


Others:
Steven Wright
Brian Johnson
Henry Owens
Kyle Kendrick

A mildly intriguing group.  Owens is a guy who is kind of hiding under the radar.  This is a former top 50 prospect and still is not yet 25 years old.  Tall, rangy lefties are anecdotally guys who tend to develop a bit later than most and it would not come as a huge shock if Owens became a very good pitcher.  At worst a 6’7” lefty with paralyzing stuff can become a pretty potent LOOGY.  Kendrick is going to fill the Sean O’Sullivan “oh dear god we need a good start from this guy” role this year.

Bullpen:
Craig Kimbrel
Tyler Thornburg
Matt Barnes
Robbie Ross
Joe Kelly
Fernando Abad
Heath Hembree

The Sox actually went to arbitration with Abad and “won” the right to keep him for another year.  Hooray.  That they went to arbitration with him rather than just saying “go away” like I would have done makes me think he is on the inside track for a spot.  Robby Scott has options so he will likely chill in Pawtucket until Abad wins the Not That One Bobby Jones Award and gets shot into the sun around Patriots’ Day.  This is certainly a different bullpen than we are used to with more power arms than we have seen in recent years.  I think the most interesting battle here is between Barnes and Kelly to be the primary 7th inning guy.

Others:
Roenis Elias
Robby Scott
Noe Ramirez
Brandon Workman
Carson Smith
Chandler Shepherd

Carson Smith we know will open the year on the DL and I would not be surprised if Workman is a paper move to the DL so he can spend time at Pawtucket on a “rehab assignment.”  Like many Tommy John recoverers Workman struggled with his control in his return last year but with an off-season behind him I still am optimistic that he has a lot to offer.

Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: February 16, 2017 at 10:59 AM | 4 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Nasty Nate Posted: February 17, 2017 at 11:26 AM (#5403711)
The addition of Moreland (the afternoon I posted version 1.0) indicates he is the likely regular first baseman. I think the dream scenario for the Sox is that Benintendi handles lefties well enough to play every day and that when the Sox face an LHP Chris Young is the DH and Hanley moves to first base.
You are correct. I just saw a tweet quoting Farrell saying that Hanley is DH against all righties. That implies that Moreland is the starter at 1B in those games, but it wouldn't be the world's biggest shock if Holt or Sandoval ends up stealing some of Mitchy's starts.

Against lefties, I guess it will be Young at DH sometimes, and sometimes Young in LF for Benintendi, or even Young in LF pushing Benintendi to CF and JBJ to the bench.
   2. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: February 17, 2017 at 04:25 PM (#5404009)
I still believe that by June 1 Blake Swihart is the regular catcher.


OK, maybe I rethink this a bit.

Not a lot of people were around to witness the uncomfortable bullpen session Thursday.

But for those who were there, they saw Blake Swihart show an inability to accurately throw the ball back to Rick Porcello on too many occasions.
   3. Textbook Editor Posted: February 17, 2017 at 05:22 PM (#5404049)
#2 - This is really freaking me out. As I ask in the other thread... is there a case in history where this has happened to a catcher and recovered like nothing happened? Because I can't think of one... the ones I know of all wind up with the guy having to move off C.

This sucks.
   4. Jose is El Absurd Pollo Posted: February 17, 2017 at 07:30 PM (#5404133)
I answered there too but Saltalamacchia had throwing issues in Texas.

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