Sunday, March 9, 2014
Let's start subtracting:
Two are on the 60-day disabled list (those role models, John Lackey and Bobby Jenks) and three others are not yet healthy - Rich Hill, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Ryan Kalish (shown here with the Sea Dogs in 2010). Down to 36.
There are 9 players not on the 40-man roster left who were invited to big-league camp: pitchers Aaron Cook, Vicente Padilla, Ross Ohlendorf, Scott Atchison and Justin Thomas; catcher Dan Butler; infielders Nate Spears and Pedro Ciraco; and outfielder Jason Repko.
None of the four position players will be making it. Plus, Cook has gone slow in the spring because of previous injuries. He's not ready. Thomas is likely headed to the minors. We'll get to the other pitchers later.
Down to 30.
Of the remaining 40-man roster guys, pitcher Andrew Miller and outfielder Carl Crawford are temporarily out with injuries but expected back soon.
Down to 28
Lefty reliever Franklin Morales might be ready, but got a slow start because of health issues. He could begin the season the DL. Chris Carpenter, obtained in the Theo Epstein "trade," is likely headed to the minors.
Down to 26.
Of the remaining pitchers not on the 40-man, Padilla, Atchison and Ohlendorf will vie for two relieving roles. Padilla should definitely get one if he's healthy. I'm guessing Ohlendorf makes it. Atchison will probably be part of that Pawtucket-Boston shuttle he is used to.
So, here is my guess for the TEMPORARY* 25-man roster
Starting pitchers: Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, Daniel Bard
Relievers: Alfred Aceves, Andrew Bailey, Mark Melancon, Matt Albers, Michael Bowden, Vicente Padilla, Ross Ohlendorf.
Catchers: Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Kelly Shoppach, Ryan Lavarnway
Infielders: Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Mike Aviles, Kevin Youkilis and Nick Punto.
Outfielders: Cody Ross, Jacoby Ellsbury, Ryan Sweeney and Darnell McDonald
DH: David Ortiz
Lavarnway's presence, if he makes the team, would be only temporary, giving the Red Sox another bat early on. When Crawford returns, Lavarnway would go down to continue his development.
The bullpen will be a survival of the fittest:
Morales will replace someone in the pen.
Cook could be ready to start before May (in fact, he has an opt-out clause in his contract if he isn't in the major leagues by May). His presence could mean Bard or Doubront to the pen.
And then there is Andrew Miller, and where he fits in.
And Rich Hill.
And if Matsuzaka is set to go by June, then ... well, you get the picture.
Boston will SET the 25-man roster next week. The changes will be coming soon after.
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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