Jonathan Lucroy and Kevin Plawecki were competing for the Red Sox backup catcher job when MLB suspended the 2020 season indefinitely because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Interim manager Ron Roenicke told reporters March 10 he was open to carrying three catchers on his Opening Day roster. He previously had said he didn’t envision a scenario where he would carry three catchers. But he changed his mind.

MLB is expected to expand active rosters from 26 to 29 players for the first month of the regular season because of the delayed start.

That would help the Red Sox in more than one way. It would give Roenicke and chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom the flexibility to carry three catchers.

Spring training statistics can be deceiving. For an extra month of regular-season games, Boston can evaluate whether Lucroy or Plawecki is the best fit to back up Christian Vazquez.

Boston also would have more flexibility to carry Rule 5 Draft pick Jonathan Arauz, who the Red Sox must keep on the active roster all season (barring an IL stint) or be offered back to his previous club, the Astros, for $50,000.

Both Plawecki and Lucroy were impressing during spring training camp.

“Plawecki’s at-bats right now are fantastic,” Roenicke said March 6. “It’s a simple swing, he’s going (opposite field) and pulling the ball. His at-bats are really great for this time in camp. (Lucroy) is getting his hits, but he’s still trying to find his timing. He is, as I know, a really good offensive player who has not shown that offense the last few years. He’s still trying to figure out timing and all that.”

Plawecki went 9 for 19 (.474) with a double and two RBI before spring training was suspended.

Lucroy, a two-time All-Star who played for Roenicke in Milwaukee, was 6 for 20 (.300) with two doubles and three RBI. He is returning from offseason surgery on a herniated disc on his neck and he’s known for working well with pitchers. He certainly has the ability to help out a young Red Sox starting rotation now without David Price (traded to Dodgers) and Chris Sale (Tommy John surgery).

Arauz, an infielder, has the defensive skills to play in the majors but he still needs to develop as a hitter. It’s difficult for any team to keep a Rule 5 Draft pick on its active roster for an entire season.

But a shortened season – which includes 29 roster spots during the first month and expanded 28-man rosters during the final month – makes things a little easier for the Red Sox if they want to commit to Arauz, who still is just 21 and worked to add power to his swing during the offseason.

The Athletic’s Keith Law on Jan. 16 ranked Arauz No. 7 among the best prospects to change teams during the offseason.

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