Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Projecting the Red Sox Opening Day Roster

The Red Sox open the 2012 season a week from Thursday when they will travel to Detroit to take on the Tigers.  Between now and then, the Red Sox have a few important roster decisions to make.  From the sound of things, those decisions may not be so easy to make.  There looks to be a turf war brewing between manager Bobby Valentine and general manager Ben Cherington and however the roster plays out for Opening Day will provide a look into who has more power in the organization.

In case you (or the Red Sox management) were wondering, here is how I think the roster should look when the Red Sox take the field against the Tigers on April 5.

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
4. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
5. David Ortiz, DH
6. Cody Ross, LF*
7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
8. Ryan Sweeney, RF
9. Mike Aviles, SS**

* - Once Carl Crawford returns from his wrist injury, this should be his place in the order with Ross and Sweeney platooning in right field.

** - Count me in the group that was hoping Jose Iglesias and his vacuum cleaner of a glove would start the season in Boston as the everyday shortstop before the news came today that he will start the year in Pawtucket.  I think Iglesias' contributions on defense - especially when you consider the fragile pitching staff - would mean more than the additional punch at the plate that Aviles will provide.  Here's hoping that by June 1, Iglesias' glove is in the field on a daily basis.


Ryan Lavarnway, C *
Darnell McDonald, OF
Nick Punto, INF
Pedro Ciriaco, INF/OF

* - Kelly Shoppach was brought in to be the "veteran presence" behind the plate for the pitching staff but Lavarnway's bat makes him more valuable to the team.

Starting Rotation

Jon Lester, LHP
Josh Beckett, RHP
Cla Buchholz, RHP
Felix Doubront, LHP
Daniel Bard, RHP *

* - It's unlikely that Bard will throw much more than 150 innings.  He would be a great candidate to move back to the bullpen in August to save his arm for the future and that could happen if the Red Sox pay the price to acquire Roy Oswalt.


Andrew Bailey, RHP
Mark Melancon, RHP
Alfredo Aceves, RHP
Franklin Morales, LHP
Michael Bowden, RHP
Vicente Padilla, RHP
Matt Albers, RHP

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