April 1, 2010

Sea Dogs' roster starting to take shape

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

FORT MYERS, Fla. — While the final Portland Sea Dogs roster is expected to come out Friday, a good portion of it was put together Wednesday with a series of moves at the Red Sox minor league complex.

When pitcher Felix Doubront, outfielder Ryan Kalish and infielder Ray Chang were moved to Double-A, the current Sea Dogs roster sat at 26 players. The final roster will be 24 – expected to be 12 pitchers and 12 position players.

While there are already a dozen position players on the team, more moves could come if more players come down from Triple-A.

For now the players are: catchers Luis Exposito and Juan Apodaca; first basemen Lars Anderson and Michael Jones; infielders Jose Iglesias, Yamaico Navarro, Ryan Khoury and Chang; and outfielders Jason Place, Chia-Chu Chiang, Che-Hsuan Lin and Kalish.

Iglesias, 20, is the big name. A free agent with a four-year, $8.25 million contract, he was sent to Portland out of the major league spring training camp.

No announcement has been made, but Iglesias said Wednesday he's going to Portland.

Other infielders may figure into the mix if players begin trickling down – Boston to Pawtucket, and Pawtucket to Portland.

Lin, 21, always figured to be going to Portland, but his fellow Taiwanese outfielder, Chiang, is less known although he's played two years in advanced Class A.

The first base and outfield spots could change because the Red Sox have a few players on the bubble between Double-A and Triple-A: Jon Still, 25, who has been playing outfield this spring along with first base, and outfielders Matt Sheely, 23, and Daniel Nava, 27.

"It's a win-win situation," said Still about going to Pawtucket or Portland. Last season he hit 17 home runs with 89 RBI for the Sea Dogs.

Nava batted .364 in 32 games with Portland last year. He's hit at every level, so the Sox may challenge him in Triple-A. Sheely hit .181 in 41 games with the Sea Dogs in 2009.

Among the pitchers expected to return are Doubront, Ryne Miller, Ryne Lawson, Blake Maxwell and Bryce Cox.

Two starters who figure to join Doubront and Miller in the rotation are a top prospect, Casey Kelly, and Kyle Weiland.

The fifth starter is unknown, although Lawson filled that role last year. Stephen Fife and Seth Garrison were starters in Class A last year.

Some of the other bullpen candidates include Kyle Fernandez and Robert Cuello, both with advanced Class A Salem last year.

 

WHILE DANIEL NAVA appears in limbo, he's continued along without a complaint, just like he did in Portland last year.

"How can I complain?" Nava said last weekend. "Right now I'm in Triple-A camp. But you never know.

"I haven't really had anyone tell me I've officially made it, that I'm on the radar. But if I get too focused on that, I lose sight of what I'm trying to do."

 

TWO RED SOX players were placed on the disabled list as expected – pitcher Boof Bonser (strained groin) and shortstop Jed Lowrie (mononucleosis).

 

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

kthomas@pressherald.com

 

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