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— Where Thinking Red Sox Fans Obsess about the Sox

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Roster - Third Time’s A Charm

13 days peeps, 13 days until actual competitive baseballing by the Boston Red Sox.  The roster is a work in progress and I think it’s worth an update;

Position Players:
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
IF - Brock Holt
IF - Marco Hernandez
OF - Chris Young
C - Christian Vazquez

So far so good on the positional front.  Everyone has stayed healthy (wood being knocked on) and it is hard to come up with a reason not to take Marco Hernandez north.  Maybe the two most noteworthy things to me are the strong performance from Sandoval and the split between Leon/Vazquez and Swihart.  Swihart has been very good and both Leon and Vazquez have struggled with the bat.  There is no reason to rush and lose one of Leon/Vazquez but I remain convinced that Blake will be our starter by June 1.

Starting Pitchers: Rick Porcello, Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, Steven Wright, Drew Pomeranz

Here things are not so rosy.  Pomeranz at the moment is a little dicey but with the fifth starter not needed until April 12 the Sox can wait him out.  With David Price not having been on a mound in a competitive way I cannot imagine the season starting with him anywhere but the Disabled List.

With that said I want to note something that seems to be a recurring theme; the Sox lack rotation depth.  I have read and heard this in a number of places and I’m not buying it.  Injury concerns are concerning (and tautologies are tautologies) but the Sox sixth starter is probably Eduardo Rodriguez and I question that there are more than a handful of teams with a sixth starter with that kind of projection.  Beyond that Kyle Kendrick (0.0 WAR), Henry Owens (0.5) and Brian Johnson (0.6) all project replacement level or better according to ZiPS at FanGraphs.  Obviously that’s not great but I’d be surprised if many teams could go nine deep in starters that project as replacement level or better.

You never have enough pitching so I reserve the right to make snarky comments about the Clay Buchholz trade all year but I’d be surprised if there were a handful of teams with more rotation depth than the Sox.

Relief Pitchers: Craig Kimbrel, Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, Robbie Ross, Edgar Olmos, Noe Ramirez

Now here we have some depth concerns.  Or maybe not depth concerns but just quality concerns.  Tyler Thornburg, like Price, hasn’t thrown in awhile and at this point cannot be counted on to be ready to go.  I have not seen Olmos and know about that much about him but everyone is saying nice things about him and with Robby Scott having options and Fernando Verybad being just that I think Olmos squeaks onto the roster.  They did not release Abad last week when they would have saved the money on his contract so he may make the roster.

I saw Jamie Callahan pitch yesterday and boy oh boy talk about “max effort.”  That dude was not holding back.  Both he and Chandler Shepherd have gotten pretty good reviews from what I’ve read.

Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 21, 2017 at 10:45 AM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: March 21, 2017 at 05:04 PM (#5420807)
+1.4 Colby Lewis
+1.3 Jake Peavy
+0.7 Doug Fister
+0.6 C. J. Wilson
+0.5 Edwin Jackson
+0.3 Tim Lincecum
+0.2 Alfredo Simon

All those guys are still available. Those are their ZiPS WAR projections for 2017.

I don't think they should sign any of them, because none are a significant enough upgrade over Boston's 8th starter to warrant the cost. For that matter Boston's 9-deep rotation options don't include Brandon Workman, mostly because he's not a starter, but it's not like they couldn't go that route with him if desperate.

Injury concerns are concerns, but staffing the roster in case they have to go to their 9th starter (because 4 of the top 8 are hurt simultaneously) is about as doomsday as it gets. If that happens they might as well punt on 2017.

I'm happy to see Sandoval making things happen in a positive way. Last year was fun, and a productive Panda should enhance things.
   2. jmurph Posted: March 21, 2017 at 05:13 PM (#5420812)
Update: still haven't come around to the idea of cheering for Chris Sale, but I'm sure when the season begins and he's the only healthy pitcher on the roster, I'll get on board.
   3. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 21, 2017 at 07:02 PM (#5420857)
Sale looks like he works quickly. That alone is a plus. And the whole being awesome thing is nice too.
   4. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 29, 2017 at 11:51 AM (#5425277)
Mitch Moreland has the flu and is not going to DC with the club. That makes things a bit dicey. Ramirez can't play first yet apparently so either we put Holt, Hernandez or Rutledge at first with little to no experience, we carry Steve Selsky on the roster to start the year or...I don't know what.
   5. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 29, 2017 at 11:53 AM (#5425278)
I guess Travis is an option. He's not on the 40 man and maybe the Sox don't want to start his clock and burn an option but frankly he's a guy that using an option this year is a near certainty anyway.
   6. Nasty Nate Posted: March 29, 2017 at 11:57 AM (#5425280)
I'm almost certain Holt would be the 1B if Moreland/Hanley couldn't play for the first couple of games.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: March 29, 2017 at 12:01 PM (#5425286)
Kyle Kendrick was assigned to minor league camp yesterday, so that implies positive things for the health of Wright, Pomeranz, and Rodriguez.
   8. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 30, 2017 at 12:58 PM (#5425995)
Pomeranz officially on the DL. It's the new 10 day version though and with backdating and all that Carl Willis says "it's not out of the question" he'll make his start in Detroit next weekend.
   9. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 31, 2017 at 04:57 PM (#5426880)
According to Sox Prospects Ben Taylor has made the Opening Day roster. He hasn't pitched above AA yet.
   10. Nasty Nate Posted: March 31, 2017 at 04:59 PM (#5426883)
Ben Taylor, who I have never heard of (and who hasn't been in any of these Sox Therapy roster previews), has made the opening day roster. He is a 2015 draftee who put up big K rates this past year in A and AA.

If he gets into a game, he will be the second from that Sox draft class to play, following Benintendi. I don't think anyone from their 2014 draft has played in the majors.

Edit: Jinx
   11. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 31, 2017 at 05:04 PM (#5426890)
I had heard of him but only as a name. I've probably seen him pitch but I genuinely can't remember. All along the guy I figured had the outside shot to make the club was Chandler Shepherd. Shows what I know.

(unrelated Nate but does your email from BTF get to you?)
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: March 31, 2017 at 05:24 PM (#5426908)
I don't know. As far as I can tell, the email address attached to my profile is active. Give it a try.
   13. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 31, 2017 at 07:00 PM (#5426971)
I did yesterday. I'll try it again.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: April 01, 2017 at 12:33 PM (#5427096)
Ah it went to my junk mail. Just responded.
   15. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: April 01, 2017 at 02:27 PM (#5427139)
EdRod seems to have a new, or at least refined, pitch. He's throwing his slider considerably slower than I remember. It's working around 80-81, I like that for him.

Of course he's loaded the bases with one out.

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