Boston Red Sox

Mar 20, 2022; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (13) watches from the field prior to the game against the Baltimore Orioles during spring training at JetBlue Park at Fenway South. Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports
  • 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.