Tuesday, March 31

Red Sox Roster Finalized

Baring another injury or roster move in the form of a waiver or trade the Red Sox finalized their roster for opening day today. Nick Green and Chris Carter will start the year with the big club, Clay Buchholz is going back down to Pawtucket.

Here is the roster for opening day:

Projected Starting line up:

(L) Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
(R) Dustin Pedroia, 2B
(L) David Ortiz, DH
(R) Kevin Youkilis, 1B
(L) J.D. Drew, RF
(R) Jason Bay, LF
(R) Mike Lowell, 3B
(S) Jed Lowrie, SS
(S) Jason Varitek, C

The Bench

(L) George Kottaras, C
(R) Nick Green, IF
(L) George Kottaras, C
(L) Chris Carter, IF-OF
(R) Rocco Baldelli, OF

Starting 5

(R) Josh Beckett
(L) Jon Lester
(R) Daisuke Matsuzaka
(R) Tim Wakefield
(R) Brad Penny

The Band in the Bullpen

(R) Jonathan Papelbon (closer)
(R) Takashi Saito
(L) Hideki Okajima
(R) Justin Masterson
(R) Manny Delcarmen
(R) Ramon Ramirez
(L) Javier Lopez

Looks like JD Drew will bat 5th in the order so Tito can keep the lefty-righty match ups through the first 6 batters in the lineup. It will also allow Mike Lowell to ease back into things, if he's not completely in playing shape there will be less pressure on him to produce.

Mark Kotsay, Julio Lugo, and John Smoltz will start the year on the disabled list. Lugo is due back in mid April, Kotsay is expected back May 1st, and Smoltz is still on a June 1st time table.

Nick Green will play the utility infielder role while Lowrie starts at short. Chris Carter can play first and the outfield, he beat out Jeff Bailey for the last spot on the opening day roster.

Buchholz was sent down to Pawtucket, although he could start April 12th if Brad Penny is not ready to pitch. Perhaps this decision is for the best as Buchholz had his worst start of the spring against the Rays and what will pretty much be there opening day roster. Buchholz gave up 4 runs in the 4th allowing 2 doubles and 2 home runs. I don't mean to be all doom and gloom, I just think Buccholz needs to start in Pawtucket to build off his successful spring training. He'll pitch in the bigs again this year.

The Sox bullpen is set in stone, however as Tony Mazz wrote about, Papelbon is the one pitcher with a position as closer. I guess we can say the rest of the bullpen is setup by committee? We're not going to though I hate the way that sounds.

Certainly Tito can mix and match and try different guys out in the 8th inning setup spot, as well as other innings. Okijima and Masterson have setup Pap in previous years, Saito has closed before, Ramirez is lights out versus right handed hitters, and Delcarmen stated he wanted the setup job. Bottom line, the Sox have great options once Tito takes the ball from the starter.

5 days until the Sox open up at Fenway against the Rays, lock and load!


D Vicino said...

Good point by Mazz in regards to the bullpen by committee outside of Pap. Tough to swallow that phrase seeing how the pen could be their strongest facet this year...but it's true.

I don't know if Delcarmen will get his desired set up role given the talent Tito can go to in the late innings, but I could be wrong.

Dale Sams said...

Kottaras is so good he takes up two bench spots!

And actually the line-up TB ran out there yesterday doesn't rememble their opening day line-up at all. Not unless Navarro,Upton, Longoria, Pena, Iwamura, Bartlett, Crawford and Burelll are all on the DL.

Tim Murphy said...

All good points Dale.

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