2024 Lineup (What we actually have - no trade speculation.)

Rovin Romine

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It appears likely that this weekend could be the first time that all of the OF/DH candidates are healthy at the same time (Duran, Rafaela, O'Neill, Abreu, Refsnyder & Yoshida). It'll be interested to see what they do with all of these options available.

Here are two ways I could see them utilizing them:

1. Duran in left, Rafaela in center, Abreu in right, Hamilton at SS, Valdez at 2b, Smith/Refsnyder at 1b, O'Neill/Yoshida at DH
2. O'Neill in left, Duran in center, Abreu in right, Rafaela at SS, Hamilton at 2b, Smith/Refsnyder at 1B, Yoshida/Refsnyder at DH

Refsnyder and O'Neill are both RHH OFers and both are having VERY good seasons thus far. Utilizing one or both of them at 1B seems like it would be the best way to upgrade the team as currently constituted thus removing Dalbec from the equation again.

It would seem to me that removing Rafaela from CF would hurt the team defensively. I think we might end up with 1 VERY expensive bench player in Yoshida going forward.

What do y'all think are the best ways to maximize the roster if everyone mentioned is healthy?
It's an interesting puzzle.

Looking at the roster, I think Dalbec is clearly the most expendable, so he goes down for Abreu.

The OF puzzle is then more simple. They just rotate the players. Yoshida is a DH and will only have value for the club if he's hitting, which he's really not doing right now. So from a long term POV, they'll play him at DH. From a short term "win this game" POV, O'Neill will occasionally take the spot from him.

Without Dalbec, the IF is: Smith/Valdez/Hamilton/Devers. Romy is the floater - this year he has played, SS, 2B, 1B, CF, RF. Even so, Rafaela may be called on to play some SS and give Hamilton a break. (Frankly, once Abreu is back, I don't want to see Romy in the OF again with the hamstring issue.)

I don't think we see Refsnyder at 1B unless it's an absolute emergency. He'd have been a clear upgrade over Cooper/Smith for the past month, and he wasn't used there once.
 

Rovin Romine

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BTW, I've been meaning to ask - does anyone know a stats site that lists L/R splits for the whole team by player? Meaning a single list that shows Duran and his R and L splits, then shows O'Neill and his R and L splits, etc.
 

simplicio

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Closest I know of is two tabs of Fangraphs - you can filter the leaderboards there by splits.
 

Max Power

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Cassvt2023

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Hopefully someone more savvy than myself when it comes to research can answer this question for me (without having to go thru every box score on mlb.com).
The Sox have played 75 games. How many different batting lineups have they used? My guess is 70.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Thank You Hawksfan. I was on Rotowire and couldn't easily find. It's pretty incredible when you think about it. Is this the most of any team in baseball?
Odds are good that it is. It's not all that uncommon to use a lot of different lineups. The Rays, for example, have used 69 lineups in their 75 games. The Jays are at 70 of 74. The Guardians have used 63 in 72 games. The Orioles are at 64 of 74. I doubt very much there's a team that has a number that's less than 50% of their games played (Yankees are at 43 of 77).
 

Dewey'sCannon

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Bobby D at 1B tonight. Could be the last we see of him for a while (maybe ever, unless the curse is real).

Nice to see that D. Smith has picked it up a bit and is no longer an automatic out. We'll probably see Romy and Ref splitting time (platoon) at 1B until Tristan is back (hopefully in 10 days or so).
 

Cassvt2023

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Bobby D at 1B tonight. Could be the last we see of him for a while (maybe ever, unless the curse is real).

Nice to see that D. Smith has picked it up a bit and is no longer an automatic out. We'll probably see Romy and Ref splitting time (platoon) at 1B until Tristan is back (hopefully in 10 days or so).
I'll likely agree that Dalbec is the odd man out when Abreu is back tomorrow. What i do not agree with is that 1.) we will see Refsnyder at 1B. He hasn't played there yet this year. Romy would be the platoon with Dom. and 2.) there is no way we see Casas in anything close to 10 days. he is barely swinging a bat in light drills, hasn't seen live pitching in several weeks, and would almost certainly need a rehab assignment. My guess is it's around the All Star break.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Bobby D at 1B tonight. Could be the last we see of him for a while (maybe ever, unless the curse is real).

Nice to see that D. Smith has picked it up a bit and is no longer an automatic out. We'll probably see Romy and Ref splitting time (platoon) at 1B until Tristan is back (hopefully in 10 days or so).
You know something no one else knows? I know Casas mentioned 7/2 as a target date but there's been no indication that it's actually going to happen. Last report was he's not even swinging a bat yet.

Just at a guess, I think post-All Star break is the optimistic hope.
 

richgedman'sghost

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Even all star break seems really optimistic for Casas. I’d expect August and hope to be surprised.
Yeah I hear all this talk about Casas coming back soon. He is barely dry swinging right now. He will need some BP and certainly minor league games before coming back. I think mid August is the the most likely time. Better to be pessimistic and be surprised than optimistic and end up disappointed.
The other idea I think that needs to be dismissed is the idea of Refsnyder at IB. He hasn't played a single inning there this year and if he has a sore knee I don't think you start an experiment right now. Playing Rob at first base is something you try in spring training Schwabber being the exception.
Anyway hope the boys can pick it up today.
 

Rovin Romine

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Abreu returns (6/22). Dalbec back to the WOR. Until a black cat crosses someone's path.

***
This is a snapshot comparison from the opening day roster to today, not a complete record of ups and downs.
* is LHH, Bold is opening day roster, call-up replacements are indented, whether originally on the roster or not.

Catchers:
Wong
McGuire*

Infielders:
Triston Casas* (60 day IL, 4/21, left rib fracture)
Garrett Cooper (up 4/30, DFA 6/11)
Dominic Smith*​
Enmanuel Valdez* (optioned AAA 5/2, called up 5/29)​
Vaughn Grissom (10 day IL, 6/2, hamstring.) (prev: hamstring: delayed ST, up 5/3)
Jamie Westbrook (optioned to AAA 6/17)
Trevor Story (60 day IL, 4/6, shoulder, out for year)
David Hamilton*​
Rafael Devers* (shoulder and left knee issues -no IL-: 4/17-4/24)
Pablo Reyes (DFA 4/28)
Romy Gonzalez (prev: wrist sprain: IL 4/11-5/8, hamstring: 5/13-6/17.)​
Zach Short (up 5/1, DFA 5/8)
Bobby Dalbec (called up 6/2, optioned 6/22)

Outfielders:
Masataka Yoshida* (prev: thumb jamb: 4/29-6/11)
Tyler O'Neill (prev: concussion: I 4/16-4/23; hamstring: 5/26-6-4)
Rob Refsnyder (prev: toe, delayed ST, up 4/18)
Wilyer Abreu* (prev: sprained ankle, IL - 6/3- 6/22)
Tyler Heineman: optioned 6/5
Jarren Duran*
Ceddanne Rafaela

Minors (40 man)
Tyler Heineman: catcher.​
Jamie Westbrook: 2B.​
Bobby Dalbec: 1B/3B.​
MiL players of note (non-40):
Kavadas - 1B LHH (poor defender?, 3 true outcome hitter). As of 6/4, .955 OPS.​
Hickey - C/DH LHH (bat first player). As of 6/4, .695 OPS.​
Sogard - IF/OF SH. As of 6/4, .833 OPS.​
Meidroth - 3B/2B (adequate fielder at best, OPB/contact heavy). As of 6/4, .795 OPS. (.432 OBP).​
Conteras - OF LHH (probably not relevant to immediate needs, age 29 journeyman type). As of 6/4, .679 OPS. .812 in May.​

Notes:
Pablo Reyes DFA'd 4/29 for Garrett Cooper, outrighted to WOR 5/6, traded to Mets for cash, 5/25. OPS+ 28 for Sox.​
Ceddanne Rafaela moved from CF to SS 4/19, then back to CF with Hamilton hitting/fielding better.​
Zack Short acquired from Mets (DFA'd) for cash, 5/1, DFA'd 5/8 for Romy Gonzalez, traded to ATL for cash on 5/9.
Dominic Smith signed 5/1.​
Garrett Cooper signed 5/1, DFA'd 6/11 for Yoshida returning from the IL (thumb). OPS+ 119 for CHI, only 29 for Sox.​
Enmanuel Valdez was on the opening day roster. Optioned to AAA 5/2. Better fielding, poor hitting. Up again 5/29.​
Voodoo Dalbec was on opening day roster, optioned 4/8 for Romy Gonzalez, up 4/12 after Romy injury. Optioned 5/2 for Grissom. Up again 6/2 with Gonzalez/Grissom injuries, then optioned 6/22 for Abreu coming off the IL.​
Jamie Westbrook was added to the 40-man on 6/2, when Whitlock was put on the 60-day IL, up from 6/2 to 6/17.​
 

Rovin Romine

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Does Valdez go down when Grissom returns?
Apart from someone being injured, I would think that makes the most sense. Valdez gives you a platoon LHB, and average 2B defense (at best). Hamilton and Romy are more versatile defensively, and neither are hitting so poorly you'd be tempted to keep Valdez's bat.

Do we have any recent news on Grissom? This is the latest I saw on MLB.com, and it's a week old.

2B Vaughn Grissom (right hamstring strain)
Expected return: July
Grissom, who missed the first 32 games of the season with a left hamstring strain, injured his right hamstring running out a grounder to third base on June 1. According to manager Alex Cora, Grissom is doing everything baseball related but not sprinting at full speed.

“Right now he's still weak with the hammy," said Cora. "We’re trying to build him up so that’s where we’re at.” (Last updated: June 17)
 

Cassvt2023

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It's probably not until at least August, but assuming no trades of ML position players, the lineup could look something like this for a playoff push:

Against RHP

Duran CF
Casas 1B
O'Neill LF
Devers 3B
Abreu RF
Wong C
Yoshida DH
Hamilton 2B
Rafaela SS

Against LHP

Duran LF
Refsnyder RF
O'Neill DH
Devers 3B
Wong C
Casas 1B
Grissom 2B
Romy SS
Rafaela CF
 

simplicio

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It's probably not until at least August, but assuming no trades of ML position players, the lineup could look something like this for a playoff push:

Against RHP

Duran CF
Casas 1B
O'Neill LF
Devers 3B
Abreu RF
Wong C
Yoshida DH
Hamilton 2B
Rafaela SS

Against LHP

Duran LF
Refsnyder RF
O'Neill DH
Devers 3B
Wong C
Casas 1B
Grissom 2B
Romy SS
Rafaela CF
Ref has a 135 wrc+ vs righties this year. I don't think he needs a platoon unless he's getting worn down.

Too many good hitters is a weird problem to have.
 

Cassvt2023

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Ref has a 135 wrc+ vs righties this year. I don't think he needs a platoon unless he's getting worn down.

Too many good hitters is a weird problem to have.
I know he has been very good against RHP, actually better than against LHP, but the only guy you could really sit would be Yoshida, and hopefully by August, he is producing (and healthy?) Plus Ref would be the first bat off the bench to pinch hit for him against a LHP an you'd have no problem leaving him in the for rest of game because of his production.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Is there any reason to think Grissom warrants an MLB job when he returns?
Not sure if serious... but yes, based off his mL production and his brief time in the ML's in Atlanta. I know he was beyond awful in his AB's with the Sox earlier but there were some signs he was shaking it off. He's got the pedigree which is perhaps unfair, but it does matter.
All that said, I think he really needs some extended time in AAA. Remember that Valdez was playing like absolute garbage so at the time, there wasn't a big drop in production. Valdez and Hamilton.... Romy.... there's options now that are all producing so I don't think it's necessary to rush him.
And I"m not saying he was rushed before... he was playing well in AAA and then got seriously ill right after his callup but the way DL stints are structured, Valdez couldn't be called back up and it wouldn't make sense to have sent Grissom back down either.
Honestly I'd like to see a full month at AAA before bringing him back up
 

BaseballJones

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Sox' OF:

Duran: 131 ops+, 4.2 war
Abreu: 127 ops+, 1.7 war
O'Neill: 147 ops+, 1.5 war
Refsnyder: 147 ops+, 1.1 war
Rafaela: 83 ops+, 1.3 war
Yoshida: 74 ops+, -0.2 war

Seems pretty clear which guy needs to sit. Salary be damned.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Sox' OF:

Duran: 131 ops+, 4.2 war
Abreu: 127 ops+, 1.7 war
O'Neill: 147 ops+, 1.5 war
Refsnyder: 147 ops+, 1.1 war
Rafaela: 83 ops+, 1.3 war
Yoshida: 74 ops+, -0.2 war

Seems pretty clear which guy needs to sit. Salary be damned.
Calling Yoshi at "OF" is a strange thing to do. Yeah.... he'll be given extra time to get right.... but when there's important games to be won, and clearly the Sox are actually playing important games now... at a certain point there's a saying about dropping a deuce or getting off the throne.
 

Rovin Romine

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It's probably not until at least August, but assuming no trades of ML position players, the lineup could look something like this for a playoff push:

Against RHP

Duran CF
Casas 1B
O'Neill LF
Devers 3B
Abreu RF
Wong C
Yoshida DH
Hamilton 2B
Rafaela SS

Against LHP

Duran LF
Refsnyder RF
O'Neill DH
Devers 3B
Wong C
Casas 1B
Grissom 2B
Romy SS
Rafaela CF
I'd tweak it in the following ways:

The least productive hitters v. LHP are: Valdez, Hamilton, Abreu, Yoshida. Duran's at .648 OPS. The least v. RHP are: Rafaela, McGuire, Yoshida, Gonzalez. So far so good.

RHPs are going to be the majority of the games.

1) Rafaela will play CF for the majority of the games, not SS.

2) They're serious about Grissom, so he'll get the most chances to start at 2B unless injured. That includes hitting RHP. (Unless he's hopeless at it for a good long period.)

3) McGuire has gotten 90% of his ABs v. RHP, so I'd expect that to continue when he subs.

4) I suspect they'll allow Yoshida to hit his way out of things, and the same goes for Abreu and Hamilton learning to face LHP. Hopefully that will be done intelligently (not risking game losses when possible.)

5) Hamilton/Romy might be a bit of a tossup actually. But I think they see Hamilton as more of the full-time SS this year, and Romy as the floater. So training on defense will be a thing too, regardless of the optimal lineup configurations.
 

Cassvt2023

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I'd tweak it in the following ways:

The least productive hitters v. LHP are: Valdez, Hamilton, Abreu, Yoshida. Duran's at .648 OPS. The least v. RHP are: Rafaela, McGuire, Yoshida, Gonzalez. So far so good.

RHPs are going to be the majority of the games.

1) Rafaela will play CF for the majority of the games, not SS.

2) They're serious about Grissom, so he'll get the most chances to start at 2B unless injured. That includes hitting RHP. (Unless he's hopeless at it for a good long period.)

3) McGuire has gotten 90% of his ABs v. RHP, so I'd expect that to continue when he subs.

4) I suspect they'll allow Yoshida to hit his way out of things, and the same goes for Abreu and Hamilton learning to face LHP. Hopefully that will be done intelligently (not risking game losses when possible.)

5) Hamilton/Romy might be a bit of a tossup actually. But I think they see Hamilton as more of the full-time SS this year, and Romy as the floater. So training on defense will be a thing too, regardless of the optimal lineup configurations.
All decent points, yet August is still 5 weeks away, so as we've seen all too well, A LOT can happen between now and then. A couple thoughts:

1) Although having Rafaela play the majority of his games in CF, an outfield alignment of O'Neill, Duran, Abreu has proven to be pretty darn good defensively as well.

2) As fragile as Grissom has been since he arrived, it may make sense to get him regular rest. Definitely not against every RHP, but Hamilton is playing his way into a bigger role, and Grissom seems to be the long term plan, but you kinda gotta roll with what's working when you're in the wild card convo.

3) Obviously Wong won't catch every day, and I should've put McGuire/Wong as the tandem against RHP. But there is no denying that Wonger is the bulk C at this point.

4) I'm pulling for Yoshida to turn things around, and I think Cora will give him a fairly long leash, but man it's tough to watch right now. He did get the ball in the air twice yesterday in his last 2 at bats. Not crushed but not weak popups either. Let's hope he is turning a corner. If not, phantom injury or maybe real injury.

5) My thinking with the Hamilton/Romy thing was that in both of my lineup scenarios, the 8-9-1 guys are all burners, and Cora seems to love to play this brand of baseball. I think he will try to keep this construction going forward as long as its been working to keep the pressure on the defense and the pitcher.
 

Rovin Romine

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All decent points, yet August is still 5 weeks away, so as we've seen all too well, A LOT can happen between now and then. A couple thoughts:

1) Although having Rafaela play the majority of his games in CF, an outfield alignment of O'Neill, Duran, Abreu has proven to be pretty darn good defensively as well.

2) As fragile as Grissom has been since he arrived, it may make sense to get him regular rest. Definitely not against every RHP, but Hamilton is playing his way into a bigger role, and Grissom seems to be the long term plan, but you kinda gotta roll with what's working when you're in the wild card convo.

3) Obviously Wong won't catch every day, and I should've put McGuire/Wong as the tandem against RHP. But there is no denying that Wonger is the bulk C at this point.

4) I'm pulling for Yoshida to turn things around, and I think Cora will give him a fairly long leash, but man it's tough to watch right now. He did get the ball in the air twice yesterday in his last 2 at bats. Not crushed but not weak popups either. Let's hope he is turning a corner. If not, phantom injury or maybe real injury.

5) My thinking with the Hamilton/Romy thing was that in both of my lineup scenarios, the 8-9-1 guys are all burners, and Cora seems to love to play this brand of baseball. I think he will try to keep this construction going forward as long as its been working to keep the pressure on the defense and the pitcher.
We have 5 good-to-plus OFs:

Refsnyder - below average range, good arm.​
O'Neill - again below average range, again, good arm.​
Abreu - 80% range, elite arm.​
Duran - elite range, average-ish arm.​
Rafaela - elite range and plus arm.​

None of those guys would embarrass themselves in CF. So I get the temptation to stick Rafaela at SS. I also see them wanting to go easy on O'Neill's knee at points.

It'll be interesting to see how they navigate Hamilton/Romy/Grissom. I agree that speed is going to be something they keep on embracing, even if there are consequences elsewhere.
 
Oct 12, 2023
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Not sure if serious... but yes, based off his mL production and his brief time in the ML's in Atlanta. I know he was beyond awful in his AB's with the Sox earlier but there were some signs he was shaking it off. He's got the pedigree which is perhaps unfair, but it does matter.
All that said, I think he really needs some extended time in AAA. Remember that Valdez was playing like absolute garbage so at the time, there wasn't a big drop in production. Valdez and Hamilton.... Romy.... there's options now that are all producing so I don't think it's necessary to rush him.
And I"m not saying he was rushed before... he was playing well in AAA and then got seriously ill right after his callup but the way DL stints are structured, Valdez couldn't be called back up and it wouldn't make sense to have sent Grissom back down either.
Honestly I'd like to see a full month at AAA before bringing him back up
Yes I’m serious. The Sox (for now) are in a wild card spot. While they’re miles away from GFIN, I really don’t see any justification for guaranteeing a spot to a guy who (for health or just can’t cut it reasons) struggled offensively and isn’t anything special defensively. Especially if it means taking the bat out of the hands of Hamilton or one of the OF.

He should go to Worcester, prove he’s healthy and playing well and force his way back onto the Boston roster if/when Valdéz regresses or an injury pops up.

I don’t really see the logic in putting a defensively limited guy with (small sample) marginal major league production the last 2 years on this roster right now. He needs at bats, and I can’t see any justification for him being an every day or every-other-day player in Boston. He’d be on the bench or taking the spot of someone playing better, neither of which serve his development or the team particularly well.
 

Rovin Romine

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Well, it's been stable for some time. Westbrook for Valdez.

With all the red we can see the OF going to plan. The IF. . .not so much.

Did someone find Bobby's cache of wax figures?

***
This is a snapshot comparison from the opening day roster to today, not a complete record of ups and downs.
* is LHH, Bold is opening day roster, call-up replacements are indented, whether originally on the roster or not.

Catchers:
Wong
McGuire*

Infielders:
Triston Casas* (60 day IL, 4/21, left rib fracture)
Garrett Cooper (up 4/30, DFA 6/11)
Dominic Smith*​
Enmanuel Valdez* (optioned AAA 7/9)
Vaughn Grissom (10 day IL, 6/2, hamstring.) (prev: hamstring: delayed ST, up 5/3)
Jamie Westbrook called up 7/9.​
Trevor Story (60 day IL, 4/6, shoulder, out for year)
David Hamilton*​
Rafael Devers* (shoulder and left knee issues -no IL-: 4/17-4/24)
Pablo Reyes (DFA 4/28)
Romy Gonzalez (prev: wrist sprain: IL 4/11-5/8, hamstring: 5/13-6/17.)​
Zach Short (up 5/1, DFA 5/8)
Bobby Dalbec (called up 6/2, optioned 6/22)

Outfielders:
Masataka Yoshida* (prev: thumb jamb: 4/29-6/11)
Tyler O'Neill (prev: concussion: I 4/16-4/23; hamstring: 5/26-6-4)
Rob Refsnyder (prev: toe, delayed ST, up 4/18)
Wilyer Abreu* (prev: sprained ankle, IL - 6/3- 6/22)
Tyler Heineman: optioned 6/5
Jarren Duran*
Ceddanne Rafaela

Minors (40 man)
Tyler Heineman: catcher.​
Enmanuel Valdez: 2B.​
Bobby Dalbec: 1B/3B.​
MiL players of note (non-40):
Kavadas - 1B LHH (poor defender?, 3 true outcome hitter). As of 6/4, .955 OPS.​
Hickey - C/DH LHH (bat first player). As of 6/4, .695 OPS.​
Sogard - IF/OF SH. As of 6/4, .833 OPS.​
Meidroth - 3B/2B (adequate fielder at best, OPB/contact heavy). As of 6/4, .795 OPS. (.432 OBP).​
Conteras - OF LHH (probably not relevant to immediate needs, age 29 journeyman type). As of 6/4, .679 OPS. .812 in May.​

Notes:
Pablo Reyes DFA'd 4/29 for Garrett Cooper, outrighted to WOR 5/6, traded to Mets for cash, 5/25. OPS+ 28 for Sox.​
Ceddanne Rafaela moved from CF to SS 4/19, then back to CF with Hamilton hitting/fielding better.​
Zack Short acquired from Mets (DFA'd) for cash, 5/1, DFA'd 5/8 for Romy Gonzalez, traded to ATL for cash on 5/9.
Dominic Smith signed 5/1.​
Garrett Cooper signed 5/1, DFA'd 6/11 for Yoshida returning from the IL (thumb). OPS+ 119 for CHI, only 29 for Sox.​
Enmanuel Valdez was on the opening day roster. Optioned to AAA 5/2. Better fielding, poor hitting. Up again 5/29. Down 6/9 for Westbrook.​
Bobby Voodoo Dalbec was on opening day roster, optioned 4/8 for Romy Gonzalez, up 4/12 after Romy injury. Optioned 5/2 for Grissom. Up again 6/2 with Gonzalez/Grissom injuries, then optioned 6/22 for Abreu coming off the IL.​
Jamie Westbrook was added to the 40-man on 6/2, when Whitlock was put on the 60-day IL, up from 6/2 to 6/17, up again 6/9.​