Boston Red Sox

First baseman Bobby Dalbec broke a 3-3 tie with a solo home run in the sixth inning, powering the Boston Red Sox to a 4-3 win over the New York Yankees Sunday at Yankee Stadium. With the clutch homer, the Red Sox (1-2) narrowly avoided a three-game sweep to start the season.

Dalbec’s homer was backed up by a strong performance by the Boston bullpen to secure the victory. Matt Strahm, Hansel Robles, and Jake Diekman combined to hurl three shutout innings to end the game, while allowing just one baserunner in that span. Diekman grabbed his first save of the season, striking out the side in the ninth.

Despite the win and Dalbec’s offensive heroics, Boston could only muster five hits total against the New York pitching staff on Sunday. The Yanks totaled 11 hits of their own, but left 11 runners on base.

The Red Sox now head to Detroit to start a three-game series against the Tigers, getting right back to action Monday night with a scheduled start time of 5:10 p.m. ET.

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Red Sox opponent preview: What to know about the 2022 Yankees

  • The New York Yankees are back for the 2022 season with largely the same roster that they fielded at the end of 2021, with a few notable changes. After announcing their 2022 opening day roster, we have a clearer picture of what to expect when they take the field against the Red Sox.

    Additions

    Apr 2, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson (28) hits a RBI single during the second inning against the Atlanta Braves during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Apr 2, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Josh Donaldson (28) hits a RBI single during the second inning against the Atlanta Braves during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    The biggest move the Yankees made in the off-season was actually a trade, and a good-old-fashioned Baseball Trade™ at that. They acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for catcher Gary Sanchez and infielder Gio Urshela. They also received infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa as part of the trade (more on Sanchez below).

    Kyle Higashioka takes over as the Yankees’ No. 1 catcher after the trade. Replacing Sanchez on the depth chart is Jose Trevino, whom the Yanks recently acquired from the Rangers.

    Most of the Yankees’ pitching staff returns from 2021, but there are a few new names to know in the bullpen. The Yanks enter the season with a deep group of pitchers to help combat a crowded April schedule. They acquired righty Miguel Castro from the Mets, and a pair of young relievers are making their major league debuts this season, Ron Marinaccio and J.P. Sears.

  • Departures

    Mar 27, 2022; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Minnesota Twins designated hitter Gary Sanchez (24) signals from first base in the fourth inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins during spring training at CenturyLink Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 27, 2022; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Minnesota Twins designated hitter Gary Sanchez (24) signals from first base in the fourth inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins during spring training at CenturyLink Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

    The aforementioned Sanchez was the biggest name to end up with a new team in the off-season, going to Minnesota in the Donaldson trade. The other notable departure is pitcher Corey Kluber, who signed a one-year deal with the Rays a year after signing a one-year deal in New York. Kluber went 5-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 16 starts with the Yankees in 2021.

    Urshela played 96 games at third base and 35 games at shortstop, so he leaves an appreciable void. Donaldson is the obvious replacement at third, while Gleyber Torres and Kiner-Falefa are expected to lead shortstop duties.

  • Pitching

    Yankee's Gerrit Cole in pitching against the Red Sox during opening day action at Yankee Stadium April 8, 2022. (Syndication: The Record)

    Yankee’s Gerrit Cole in pitching against the Red Sox during opening day action at Yankee Stadium April 8, 2022. (Syndication: The Record)

    The Yankees bring back their five most-used pitchers from 2021. The rotation is once again headlined by perennial Cy Young candidate Gerrit Cole, who posted a 3.23 ERA while leading the AL with 16 wins and striking out 243 batters in only 181.1 innings a year ago (he has yet to win a Cy Young, despite multiple years in the top-5 of voting). Backing him up is Jordan Montgomery, who had a 3.83 ERA and set a new career-high in strikeouts with 162. Montgomery is a very important piece of the rotation as the clear No. 1 lefty.

    Here’s their projected starting rotation to begin the season:

    RHP Gerrit Cole
    LHP Jordan Montgomery
    RHP Jameson Taillon
    RHP Luis Severino
    LHP Nestor Cortes Jr.

    Luis Severino is finally expected back in a full-time role for the Yankees after Tommy John surgery ended his 2020 season before it began, then robbed him of most of 2021. New York still has Domingo German, but he’s on the 60-day injured list to start the season, so Cortes is expected to fill in while he’s out.

  • Offense

    Mar 27, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits a two run home run in the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 27, 2022; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits a two run home run in the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

    The Yankees offense continues to be filled with some true “Bronx Bombers.” Swapping in Donaldson for Sanchez gives them a needed boost in left-handed power, while the returning Anthony Rizzo can provide more of the same with the short porch in right field at Yankee Stadium.

    Most of the usual suspects are back, including the team’s formidable outfield. Here’s the Yankees’ lineup for Opening Day against the Red Sox:

    3B Josh Donaldson
    RF Aaron Judge
    1B Anthony Rizzo
    DH Giancarlo Stanton
    2B D.J. LeMahieu
    LF Joey Gallo
    CF Aaron Hicks
    C Kyle Higashioka
    SS Isiah Kiner-Falefa

    Second base and shortstop is an interesting one. LeMahieu should get the bulk of the work at second, but Torres figures to find his way into the lineup in place of Kiner-Falefa as the season goes along. We’ll see how the workload shakes out.

  • Manager

    Aaron Boone speaks to the media after being introduced as manager of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on December 6, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

    Aaron Boone speaks to the media after being introduced as manager of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on December 6, 2017 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

    Aaron Boone is back for his fifth season as the Yankees’ manager. Since taking the helm in 2018, Boone has a 328-218 record (.601). He recently signed a three-year extension with the Yanks, which includes a club option for 2025.

Red Sox announce Opening Day roster for 2022

  • Red Sox Opening Day ended up being pushed back due to rain in New York, but the team still released it’s initial roster on Thursday. As part of the new CBA, teams will begin the season with 28 players, up from 26 (the limit returns to 26 on May 2).

    This year’s Opening Day roster includes 15 pitchers and 13 hitters, with three Major Leaguers beginning the season on the IL. Here’s a look at the group the Red Sox will begin the season with…

  • Starting pitchers (5)

    Jun 14, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (17) pitches during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    Jun 14, 2021; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi (17) pitches during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

    –RHP Nathan Eovaldi
    –RHP Nick Pivetta
    –RHP Tanner Houck
    –RHP Michael Wacha
    –LHP Rich Hill

    This rotation, especially the bottom three spots, could be flexed as the season begins. Tanner Houck begins the year as the third starter, but could also be flexed to the bullpen. Garrett Whitlock is beginning the season in the bullpen, but could be moved to the rotation.

  • Bullpen (10)

    Mar 25, 2022; North Port, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Matt Barnes (32) throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves during spring training at CoolToday Park. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 25, 2022; North Port, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Matt Barnes (32) throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves during spring training at CoolToday Park. Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

    –RHP Matt Barnes
    –RHP Garrett Whitlock
    –RHP Hansel Robles
    –RHP Ryan Brasier
    –RHP Hirokazu Sawamura
    –RHP Kutter Crawford
    –RHP Phillips Valdez
    –LHP Matt Strahm
    –LHP Jake Diekman
    –LHP Austin Davis

    After struggling down the stretch last season, Matt Barnes bounced back with a strong performance this spring. He’ll likely begin the season as the closer, although Garrett Whitlock could see time in that role as well. The remainder of the bullpen is still being sorted out, with the two extra roster spots being used to get a longer look at the situation.

  • Catchers (2)

    Mar 20, 2022; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox catcher Kevin Plawecki (25) reacts toward the outfield after a throw from center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (not pictured) to take out Baltimore Orioles third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez (not pictured) at home plate in the second inning during spring training at JetBlue Park at Fenway South. Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 20, 2022; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox catcher Kevin Plawecki (25) reacts toward the outfield after a throw from center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (not pictured) to take out Baltimore Orioles third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez (not pictured) at home plate in the second inning during spring training at JetBlue Park at Fenway South. Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

    –Christian Vazquez
    –Kevin Plawecki

    No changes from last year. With a lot of moving pieces both in the rotation and bullpen, how these two work with the staff will be as important as what they add at the plate.

  • Infielders (7)

    Mar 21, 2022; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) looks own from the field during the fourth inning of the game against the Atlanta Braves during spring training at JetBlue Park at Fenway South. Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

    Mar 21, 2022; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) looks own from the field during the fourth inning of the game against the Atlanta Braves during spring training at JetBlue Park at Fenway South. Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

    –1B Bobby Dalbec
    –2B Trevor Story
    –SS Xander Bogaerts
    –3B Rafael Devers
    –CIF Travis Shaw
    –IF Jonathan Arauz
    –IF Christian Arroyo

    With the addition of Story, this might be one of the best infields in all of baseball. How this season goes for the Red Sox hinges on this group as much as any other.

  • Outfielders (4)

    Apr 3, 2022; North Port, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Alex Verdugo (99) bats during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves during spring training at CoolToday Park. Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

    Apr 3, 2022; North Port, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox left fielder Alex Verdugo (99) bats during the first inning against the Atlanta Braves during spring training at CoolToday Park. Credit: Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

    –Jackie Bradley Jr.
    –Alex Verdugo
    –J.D. Martinez
    –UT Kiké Hernandez

    The addition of Story to play second base does free up Hernandez to play more in the outfield, which will be a big help. The Red Sox are going to be forced to use Martinez some in the outfield due to a lack of depth at the position. If the team is going to make an in-season move, it should come at a corner outfield position.

  • Injured List

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 20: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox walks back to the dugout after the second inning of Game Five of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on October 20, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 20: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox walks back to the dugout after the second inning of Game Five of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros at Fenway Park on October 20, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    –LHP Chris Sale
    –LHP James Paxton
    –LHP Josh Taylor

    Both Sale and Paxton will begin the year on the 60-day IL. Sale is dealing with a rib injury he suffered training during the lockout, and his timetable is uncertain. Paxton is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, and may not pitch this year. Taylor is dealing with a back issue, and is on the 10-day IL.

  • Who’s next?

    WORCESTER - Triston Casas steps up to the plate during the final home game of the inaugural season at Polar Park on Sunday, September 26, 2021. (Ashley Green/Telegram & Gazette via Imagn Content Services)

    WORCESTER – Triston Casas steps up to the plate during the final home game of the inaugural season at Polar Park on Sunday, September 26, 2021. (Ashley Green/Telegram & Gazette via Imagn Content Services)

    There will be plenty of roster moves throughout the season, so these aren’t the only 28 players you’ll see suit up for the Red Sox this year. Who just missed the cut that could make the jump from Worcester?

    If the Red Sox need another starting pitcher, recalling Connor Seabold as an opener would be an option. Seabold made his major league debut in 2021, throwing three innings in his lone start.

    In the bullpen, the team has more options. Darwinzon Hernandez spent significant time with the club last year, and could come back for a stint. Eduard Bazardo also figures to factor in, although he was DFA’ed on Thursday. Tyler Danish had a strong spring, and despite being optioned during final roster cuts could see Major League time as well. There are also rookie options in Kaleb Ort and Durbin Feltman.

    As mentioned above, the Red Sox currently lack depth in the outfield. If they feel like that’s a situation that needs to be addressed quickly, both Jarren Duran and Rob Refsnyder would be candidates to be recalled.

    The real name to know here though is first baseman Triston Casas. Casas is the top prospect in the Red Sox organization, and is expected to be MLB-ready at some point this year. Bobby Dalbec currently projects as the weak link in the infield, and if he gets off to a slow start expect to hear the calls for Casas to make  his debut.

Matt Dolloff is a writer and podcaster for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Yell at him on Twitter @mattdolloff and follow him on Instagram @realmattdolloff. You can also email him at mdolloff@985thesportshub.com.


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