The 25-Man Roster: A Work In Progress

E5 Yaz

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Might as well start tracking this now, as the initial roster has been set (barring injuries and/or late changes)

Starting Pitchers
Price
Buchholz
Porcello
Kelly
Wright

Relievers
Kimbrell
Uehara
Tazawa
Layne
Ross
N. Ramirez
Barnes

Catchers
Swihart
Hanigan

DH
Ortiz

Infielders
H. Ramirez
Pedroia
Bogaerts
Sandoval
Shaw

Outfielders
Holt
Betts
Bradley
Young
Castillo
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Maybe better suited for the minor league forum, but do we have an ETA for Benintendi? Because if he's the real deal (and by all accounts he probably is), then an OF of Benintendi, JBJ, and Betts is just going to be incredible.
 

phenweigh

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I'll add:

Disabled List
Eduardo Rodriguez
Carson Smith
Christian Vazquez
Brandon Workman

I think the most interesting decision the Sox will have to make with the 25-man roster is what they'll do when they think Vazquez is ready.
 

smastroyin

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Benintendi will likely set his own pace.

I wouldn't put an actual ETA before September of 2017. If we see him in 2016 we'll all have to hope it's because he Harper'd the upper minors, and not because the rest of the roster has been a disaster.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Benintendi will likely set his own pace.

I wouldn't put an actual ETA before September of 2017. If we see him in 2016 we'll all have to hope it's because he Harper'd the upper minors, and not because the rest of the roster has been a disaster.
Right, I agree with that. I don't want him here because of an emergency. I want him here because he's been really good and is ready to go at the major league level. But I am very optimistic at that Benintendi, Bradley, Betts outfield. Fast, talented, athletic, it would be really, really nice.
 

Al Zarilla

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Might as well start tracking this now, as the initial roster has been set (barring injuries and/or late changes)

Starting Pitchers
Price
Buchholz
Porcello
Kelly
Wright

Relievers
Kimbrell
Uehara
Tazawa
Layne
Ross
N. Ramirez
Barnes

Catchers
Swihart
Hanigan

DH
Ortiz

Infielders
H. Ramirez
Pedroia
Bogaerts
Sandoval
Shaw

Outfielders
Holt
Betts
Bradley
Young
Castillo
The Giants are going North with 13 pitchers because of the uncertainty of Matt Cain and Jake Peavy. Seems to me with the injury to Eddie Rodriguez, and the ability of Brock Holt to cover 7 positions (I know he's the starting left fielder, at least for now, but Shaw can apparently play 3 positions and that helps) the Sox might have done that too. Castillo down to make room for the 13th pitcher. Or, maybe the Sox don't have a 13th pitcher they want on the big league team. Owens, e.g., didn't look ready this spring, but how about one of Elias, Escobar, Hembree or B. Johnson? Can't say as I know how they did in ST either. 13th guy may not do anything anyway except in blowouts, but it allows you to save pitches in the arms of the guys you want fresh down the stretch. OK, admitted bias for Bochy and Righetti (what they do roster pitching wise might be a good thing to consider, if not copy).
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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The Giants are going North with 13 pitchers because of the uncertainty of Matt Cain and Jake Peavy. Seems to me with the injury to Eddie Rodriguez, and the ability of Brock Holt to cover 7 positions (I know he's the starting left fielder, at least for now, but Shaw can apparently play 3 positions and that helps) the Sox might have done that too. Castillo down to make room for the 13th pitcher. Or, maybe the Sox don't have a 13th pitcher they want on the big league team. Owens, e.g., didn't look ready this spring, but how about one of Elias, Escobar, Hembree or B. Johnson? Can't say as I know how they did in ST either. 13th guy may not do anything anyway except in blowouts, but it allows you to save pitches in the arms of the guys you want fresh down the stretch. OK, admitted bias for Bochy and Righetti (what they do roster pitching wise might be a good thing to consider, if not copy).
Of those potential 13th pitchers you list, none showed anything outstanding in spring training. Elias was basically the last cut to get the 25-man set, so presumably he'd be the choice but he and the team are probably better served with him getting regular turns in the Pawtucket rotation than seeing sporadic action in Boston. Besides, with the days off built into the schedule in April, the only thing that is likely to warrant straining the pen too much is if they get into a long extra inning game or two (which has happened before). In which case, they can call someone up to be a fresh arm.

As for Shaw, what is his 3rd position? He played LF for 3 innings last year on an emergency basis and lip service was paid to the idea that he might see action there in spring training. By the fact that he didn't play even one inning in LF during the spring, I think they have to treat him as exclusively an infielder right now.

Frankly, I think the "Brock Holt is the starting LF" thing is temporary. The team is scheduled to face three hard throwing righties to start the year...he hits them well, Young and Castillo don't. Simple as that. I expect Castillo is going to get his fair share of playing time in the first 2-3 weeks.
 

payne8567

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Shaw did start 3 games in PAW last summer before coming up. SSS etc. with only 6 chances, but 0 errors and and 2 assists in those games makes me somewhat hopeful we wouldn't see Youk-level incompetence/tentativeness in a LF emergency by Travis Shaw
 

Buzzkill Pauley

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Noe Ramirez is our best option as the 25th man until Smith is back?
Just like Cafardo, he gives 'em a different look.

No really, that's actually it. Farrell's already mentioned his preference going into the season with Ramirez as a ROOGY rather than any of the other options out there. I can already foresee half a pizza and some domestic draft beer in Noe's future.

But whatever. Get well soon, Carson.
 

RIrooter09

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Farrell going all in to save his job at the expense of the big picture. Holt as an almost everyday player against the weaker side of his platoon splits and sitting Sandoval which prevents any chance of reestablishing value are both incredibly shortsighted moves. This should end well.
 

The X Man Cometh

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Farrell going all in to save his job at the expense of the big picture. Holt as an almost everyday player against the weaker side of his platoon splits and sitting Sandoval which prevents any chance of reestablishing value are both incredibly shortsighted moves. This should end well.
Sandoval is under contract for 3 years beyond this one. He's in a multi-year downward spiral performance-wise and showed up out of shape despite coming off a year in which he was the worst player in baseball. Pushing his buttons until something works is part of the big picture.

They need him to improve so they don't have to pay him to go away. Benching him might be what it takes to do that.
 

Al Zarilla

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The Giants aren't locked into one non-pitcher who can only DH
So, Brandon Crawford isn't going to play anywhere but SS either (not that he couldn't play second or third base if a bunch of other infielders got hurt, but they'd bring someone up from Fresno rather than do that). Papi is more likely to play first, which we know he will in some away games v NL teams.
 

judyb

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So, Brandon Crawford isn't going to play anywhere but SS either (not that he couldn't play second or third base if a bunch of other infielders got hurt, but they'd bring someone up from Fresno rather than do that). Papi is more likely to play first, which we know he will in some away games v NL teams.
Very different schedules to begin the season, though. The Giants play 7 games before their 1st off day, then 16 more before their 2nd, the Red Sox play 1 game before their 1st off day, then 8 more before their 2nd.
 

Al Zarilla

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Very different schedules to begin the season, though. The Giants play 7 games before their 1st off day, then 16 more before their 2nd, the Red Sox play 1 game before their 1st off day, then 8 more before their 2nd.
OK, I didn't look that up, thanks, just that I wonder if our fearless leaders are thinking outside the box enough. 13 pitchers on the big team would have been a great excuse to send Rusney down and let him get everyday ABs.
 

Rasputin

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We need a reverse Danny Valencia, someone who can play first, third, and left while hitting right handed pitching.

Holt, Castillo, Young, and Shaw all seem to hit lefties better, sometimes in small sample sizes.

If we assume for the moment that Sandoval can play third against some righties, that's fine, but we don't have a backup MI on the roster with Holt starting and if Sandoval doesn't win the job back, you have to think the team is trying to dump him. Marrero would be a perfectly cromulent middle infielder, but do we have the reverse Danny Valencia?

You'd think a guy like that wouldn't be too hard to find.
 

Buzzkill Pauley

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I'm fairly sure you just described what the Sox hoped for Travis Shaw to become.

The problem isn't having that guy, or finding that guy.

It's needing a second one of that guy, because the first guy has to be a starter.
 

Rasputin

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I'm fairly sure you just described what the Sox hoped for Travis Shaw to become.

The problem isn't having that guy, or finding that guy.

It's needing a second one of that guy, because the first guy has to be a starter.
I think your first line is right, but the second and third lines combine to state that the problem isn't having that guy or finding that guy, it's finding that guy or having that guy.

Bottom line, we need a guy and those guys should be relatively easy to find so I think we should be able to get one back in whatever dumpoff trade of Castillo or Sandoval happens.
 

PapaSox

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They'll have enough competition in April to prove whether or not the roster as stated can hold its own:
3 Indians
6 Blue Jays
3 Orioles
3 Rays
3 Astros
4 Braves
3 Yankees
 

geoduck no quahog

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I can't help but think that a full time Holt fits well batting 2nd, in one of two configurations (don't know which):

Betts (R) - Holt (L) - Bogaerts (R) - Ortiz (L) - Ramirez (R) - Shaw (L) - Pedroia (R) - Swihart (S) - Bradley (L)

Betts (R) - Holt (L) - Pedroia (R) - Ortiz (L) - Ramirez (R) - Shaw (L) - Bogaerts (R) - Swihart (S) - Bradley (L)

Obviously you've got the R-L-R thing going straight through the lineup.

Holt favoring the hole between 1st and 2nd. 349 OBP and 2.11 K/BB

Pedroia at .356 OBP (113 ERA+) and 1.34 K/BB. Bogaerts at .355 (108, but improving) and 3.16 K/BB - which favors Pedroia over Bogaerts.

I don't mind seeing Pedroia bat lower in the order, if only to save some wear and tear. On the other hand, projecting who'll have more power (Bogaerts or Pedroia) isn't easy.

There's got to be something wrong with the logic (Holt #2) because I've never seen the issue raised.
 

Dewey'sCannon

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Betts (R) - Holt (L) - Bogaerts (R) - Ortiz (L) - Ramirez (R) - Shaw (L) - Pedroia (R) - Swihart (S) - Bradley (L)

Betts (R) - Holt (L) - Pedroia (R) - Ortiz (L) - Ramirez (R) - Shaw (L) - Bogaerts (R) - Swihart (S) - Bradley (L)
If Holt bats second, I don't see them dropping Bogaerts to #7 (or Pedey, but I bet he stays at either 2 or 3) - the L-R thing is nice, but I think Shaw would be #7 unless he's really hot from the start.
 

Rasputin

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They'll have enough competition in April to prove whether or not the roster as stated can hold its own:
3 Indians
6 Blue Jays
3 Orioles
3 Rays
3 Astros
4 Braves
3 Yankees
It's not an easy month, but the problem with the roster isn't that it isn't good enough to compete--there's at least an argument to be made that it's better able to compete--but that it's not well equipped to cope with things that go wrong.
 

alwyn96

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I think the lineup will shake out like this
Betts
Pedroia
Bogaerts
Ortiz
Hanley
Shaw
Holt
Swihart
Bradley
I bet there will be at least one like that. The Red Sox used 136 different batting orders last year. Managers gotta manage.
 

geoduck no quahog

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I think the lineup will shake out like this
Betts
Pedroia
Bogaerts
Ortiz
Hanley
Shaw
Holt
Swihart
Bradley
Yep. That was today's lineup. There's another one that includes Hannigan and one that includes Young.

(plus the Sandoval/Castillo lineup on day after night games and pre-All Star getaway day)
 

RedOctober3829

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deep inside Guido territory
Sandoval's agent: "If you want to win, why are you putting the Ferrari in the garage?"
--Jon Heyman on 98.5 TSH.

Sandoval is not happy with this decision and should be coming out with a statement soon. They met with management this morning. His agent intimated that he would welcome a trade.
 
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BaseballJones

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I feel like the roster is a mess right now because their two best - and most versatile - bench players (Holt and Shaw) are now in starting roles, and the their bench now consists of a single-position 3b who can't really pinch-hit, can't be a pinch-runner, and can't come in as a defensive replacement, and also an OF who will not platoon with Holt in LF (because that's what Young will do), and who isn't better defensively than either player in CF or RF.

So it appears that there is basically no bench role for Panda, and all Castillo can offer is maybe a LF defensive replacement and some pinch-running.

What's frustrating is that the roster looked so solid if only these two guys were playing well enough to be every-day starters. Then the bench would have been really solid and flexible, with Holt being able to play anywhere, and Shaw able to play 3b, 1b, and LF, with Young being the primary OF backup.
 

pjheff

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A bench isn't deployed simply to exploit matchups (although it will be). It's also there to manage injuries that are inevitable over the course of a long season. The team is one likely Hanley injury away from needing Shaw on the other side of the diamond, one likely Pedroia DL stint away from needing Holt back in the IF, etc. Judging from his most recent body of work, Castillo seems one of the more likely candidates to join them on the trainer's table. Hopefully, the flexibility of players like Holt and Shaw will help mitigate their loss. Until that time, I see no problem giving them regular ABs if they've most earned them. It's not as if they'll lose their flexibility in the process.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I feel like the roster is a mess right now because their two best - and most versatile - bench players (Holt and Shaw) are now in starting roles, and the their bench now consists of a single-position 3b who can't really pinch-hit, can't be a pinch-runner, and can't come in as a defensive replacement, and also an OF who will not platoon with Holt in LF (because that's what Young will do), and who isn't better defensively than either player in CF or RF.

So it appears that there is basically no bench role for Panda, and all Castillo can offer is maybe a LF defensive replacement and some pinch-running.

What's frustrating is that the roster looked so solid if only these two guys were playing well enough to be every-day starters. Then the bench would have been really solid and flexible, with Holt being able to play anywhere, and Shaw able to play 3b, 1b, and LF, with Young being the primary OF backup.
I'm confused as to how their bench isn't just as flexible with the current set-up. Holt can still back up seven positions even if he's starting at one of them, since there are two guys on the bench (Young and Castillo) who can play LF. Shaw can still back up 1B and be the 6th OF by having Sandoval play 3B.

How often is this team going to need defensive replacements in late innings with Gold Glove caliber players at two OF spots, above average in the middle infield, and competence at the corners? How often are the guys in the starting lineup going to need to be pinch hit or pinch run for? When it comes to the AL, bench players are primarily there to take a start or two a week to give guys a day off or to jump in in case of injury. I don't see how Castillo and Sandoval on the bench really changes the equation much at all in terms of who slots where when guys need a day off or get hurt mid-game.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I think the lineup will shake out like this
Betts
Pedroia
Bogaerts
Ortiz
Hanley
Shaw
Holt
Swihart
Bradley
Here's what we get today:
Betts RF
Pedroia 2B
Bogaerts SS
Ortiz DH
Ramirez 1B
Sandoval 3B
Holt LF
Hanigan C
Bradley Jr. CF

So, same basic idea, and I think you've got it. Looks to me like Bradley is locked into the 9 hole for now, and Shaw/Holt/Swihart are pretty much just going to be swapped out for Sandoval/Young/Hanigan depending on matchups and people getting a chance to rest here and there.

Injuries will shake this up, obviously, but should they keep this relatively in tact, it really seems like JBJ is going to be the difference between a top-heavy line-up and one that can do serious damage.

Mookie/Pedroia/Bogaerts should get on base at a predictable clip (they combined for better than a .350 OBP last year) and keep the bases full for Ortiz and Hanley, who should have predictable RBI numbers as long as Ortiz doesn't fall off the face of the earth and echo his spring numbers, but that 6-7-8 run could make for a lot of easy innings. It's going to be hard for Shaw to remain patient with all the pressure on him and still was only a .327 OBP last year, Holt was a .311 OBP guy in his last 230 PAs last year, and Swihart was just at .319.

Swihart may improve, but it's hard to see Hanigan being much better than the .325 he's averaged over the last three seasons.

I've got a feeling Jackie's going to be up a lot with 2 outs and a guy on second. If he can just turn that lineup over and put up something like a .360-.375 like he's done in the minors, the Sox are going to score some serious runs. If he's a .310 OBP, it could get ugly at the bottom.
 

BaseballJones

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I'm confused as to how their bench isn't just as flexible with the current set-up. Holt can still back up seven positions even if he's starting at one of them, since there are two guys on the bench (Young and Castillo) who can play LF. Shaw can still back up 1B and be the 6th OF by having Sandoval play 3B.

How often is this team going to need defensive replacements in late innings with Gold Glove caliber players at two OF spots, above average in the middle infield, and competence at the corners? How often are the guys in the starting lineup going to need to be pinch hit or pinch run for? When it comes to the AL, bench players are primarily there to take a start or two a week to give guys a day off or to jump in in case of injury. I don't see how Castillo and Sandoval on the bench really changes the equation much at all in terms of who slots where when guys need a day off or get hurt mid-game.
Well, for one, it means that Holt will now spend the majority of the time working out in LF, instead of spending time in various positions. So his training will be less flexible. Panda gives them absolutely nothing off the bench. Completely useless there.

But I see your point.
 

benhogan

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Here's what we get today:
Betts RF
Pedroia 2B
Bogaerts SS
Ortiz DH
Ramirez 1B
Sandoval 3B
Holt LF
Hanigan C
Bradley Jr. CF

I've got a feeling Jackie's going to be up a lot with 2 outs and a guy on second. If he can just turn that lineup over and put up something like a .360-.375 like he's done in the minors, the Sox are going to score some serious runs. If he's a .310 OBP, it could get ugly at the bottom.
Not going to happen, but I wouldn't mind seeing Ortiz hit Third and move Bogaerts down to Fourth or Sixth

Opposing managers will get a ton of mileage out of late inning match-ups against our line up, hopefully Holt/Shaw/JBJ
continue to hit LHP.

Pencil in O'Day, Betances, Osuna to face our top 3 hitters in late/tight situations.
 

Toe Nash

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Mookie/Pedroia/Bogaerts should get on base at a predictable clip (they combined for better than a .350 OBP last year) and keep the bases full for Ortiz and Hanley, who should have predictable RBI numbers as long as Ortiz doesn't fall off the face of the earth and echo his spring numbers, but that 6-7-8 run could make for a lot of easy innings. It's going to be hard for Shaw to remain patient with all the pressure on him and still was only a .327 OBP last year, Holt was a .311 OBP guy in his last 230 PAs last year, and Swihart was just at .319.

Swihart may improve, but it's hard to see Hanigan being much better than the .325 he's averaged over the last three seasons.

I've got a feeling Jackie's going to be up a lot with 2 outs and a guy on second. If he can just turn that lineup over and put up something like a .360-.375 like he's done in the minors, the Sox are going to score some serious runs. If he's a .310 OBP, it could get ugly at the bottom.
Well, the average AL team got a .295 OBP from its 7-9 spots last year (not including pitchers batting), so the .310-.330 range from those spots doesn't look too bad even if JBJ is just decent. The key will be health and getting decent performance from the bench.

If that happens it's not hard to see something like 2013 team, which only had one starter with an OPS+ above 128, but had almost everyone else above average and led the league in runs.
 

BaseballJones

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I think on the whole the offense will be fine. The bullpen worries me with Smith out and Koji seemingly not right to me (he got absolutely crushed in spring training, which may not mean anything, but it may, given his age and coming back from an injury). But starting pitching is the big concern.

Price should be really good, but if he's not really good, they're in trouble.
Buchholz is a total wild card. Could be great. Could be great but only in limited innings. Could be awful. Who knows.
Porcello looked just hideous in spring training.
Kelly is decent; can be lights out or can get lit up.
Wright seems ok, but is a 5th starter.
Rodriguez is hurt.

Just a whole lot of question marks there. Again.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I think on the whole the offense will be fine. The bullpen worries me with Smith out and Koji seemingly not right to me (he got absolutely crushed in spring training, which may not mean anything, but it may, given his age and coming back from an injury).
Koji made all of four appearances in spring training, the last of which he set down the side in order. His one bad outing was one in which he was exclusively throwing a cutter as an experiment. Not a whole lot to read into with such a small sample size. In fact, even that it is a small sample isn't much of a concern as he's never been highly active in spring training in the first place.

Between he and Tazawa, I imagine they can share the workload so that neither end up gassed in the second half. Even with Smith out, I like what we've seen from Barnes and I expect Ross and Layne to be solid as LOOGYs. The pen is going to be a strength, I think.
 

Doctor G

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I would like to see Mookie and Bogey switch spots. I see Bogart as more a
Jeter type as far as power production goes. He also draws more walks than Betts.
 

Buzzkill Pauley

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Not going to happen, but I wouldn't mind seeing Ortiz hit Third and move Bogaerts down to Fourth or Sixth

Opposing managers will get a ton of mileage out of late inning match-ups against our line up, hopefully Holt/Shaw/JBJ
continue to hit LHP.

Pencil in O'Day, Betances, Osuna to face our top 3 hitters in late/tight situations.
Opposing managers will get a ton of mileage out of late-inning match-ups, regardless what lineup is used. The best hitters should hit higher in the order, to get more at-bats each game. Toronto's Big-4 goes R-R-R-R, but they still pile up the runs because even though they're usually stacked to see O'Day and Betances late and close, they're still all really good hitters.

Match-ups is just how the game is managed in this day and age. That's how the Sox pen will be managed, too, at least when Smith returns.

The expected lineup should hit pretty fairly against either handedness (3-year or career splits vs L/R):
  1. (.842/.811) Betts
  2. (.843/.733) Pedroia
  3. (.837/.675) Bogaerts
  4. (.775/.986) Ortiz
  5. (.886/.825) Ramirez
  6. (.975/.736) Shaw
  7. (.787/.681) Young/Holt
  8. (.691/.757) Hanigan/Swihart
  9. (.692/.612) Bradley
Based on 3-year splits, the best lineup change the Sox could make is to bat Ortiz-Ramirez 3-4 and drop Bogaerts all the way down to 7th. But with such a young lineup there's no way to assess who among Betts, Bogaerts, Shaw, Holt, Swihart, and Bradley will actually hit according to their past record. The samples are too small, the potential for growth too real.
 

geoduck no quahog

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But the Sox have and advantage with Smith, Uehara and Kimbrell as defensive substitutes at 3B, LF and 1B in late innings.
 

benhogan

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So you're saying they'll face good relievers in the late innings of close games? Bold.
HA, your point is valid.

I was thinking 3 RH hitters (who would never be pinch hit for) in a row that hit worse against RH pitching. Then you add in dominant RH relief pitchers in the AL East that have excellent splits vs. RH hitters. Get use to seeing those match ups in late/tight.

IMHO having Papi bat third, instead of Bogey, would balance the line up better.
 
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PapaSox

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I am most likely in the minority here but I'd like to see Betts hit 3rd. I think his power would be most useful in the 3rd hole providing additional offensive capabilities to Peddy & X. Both Peddy & X can get on base and are smart base runners. Peddy can shock a team with a lead off homer and X is a steady hitter who at times can show power. However, Betts has already shown power and I'd be comfortable seeing him bat 3rd.

1. (.843/.733) Pedroia
2. (.837/.675) Bogaerts
3. (.842/.811) Betts
4. (.775/.986) Ortiz
5. (.886/.825) Ramirez
6. (.975/.736) Shaw
7. (.787/.681) Young/Holt
8. (.691/.757) Hanigan/Swihart
9. (.692/.612) Bradley
 

williams_482

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The three hole is easily the least important lineup spot of the front four, and arguably less important than the 5th spot. Betts is one of the best hitters on the team both in OBP and overall talent. He's a natural fit to hit leadoff, and I'd have no problem with batting him 2nd, but 3rd just seems like a poor use of his skills relative to the rest of the lineup.