As Spring Training is officially underway, there will be multiple Red Sox players fighting for a spot on the Opening Day roster.
There’s baseball being played once again in Fort Myers! The Boston Red Sox already have two spring games under their belt with Opening Day becoming closer and closer. As always, there are a few positional battles that fans should keep an eye on as the season draws near.
A position that used to be rather easy to fill has become one that’s rotating on a near-regular basis. Dustin Pedroia has been transferred to the 60 Day IL, Brock Holt is a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, and the Red Sox will not seek to locate their every day second baseman.
Largely, it depends on what Ron Roenicke wants to do with Michael Chavis. He’s a middle infielder by trade, but has been transitioned more to first base. If that’s the case then it appears to be a battle between former Cincinnati Red, Jose Peraza and Rule 5 draft pick, Jonathan Arauz. Marco Hernandez and C.J. Chatham will likely get extended time throughout Spring Training, but it seems to be between Arauz and Peraza as of now.
After Pedroia’s injuries, a once-stable position has become far too volatile.
Preseason Prediction: Jose Peraza
The offseason has certainly shaken up the starting rotation, as well. The Red Sox no longer have Rick Porcello or David Price, but added newcomer Martin Perez to the starting rotation. Regardless, it leaves a massive hole at the back-end of the rotation – adding to a group that has plenty of injury concerns between Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi.
At this point, it will come down to whether or not Roenicke wants to deploy “the opener.” If that’s the case, the Red Sox could deploy a number of relievers to begin the game, while the starting pitching depth within the organization could use some work. Brian Johnson, Hector Velazquez, Tanner Houck, Ryan Weber, Kyle Hart, Matt Hall, and others are all names that could surface as the Sox seek to fill an open hole.
Of course, Chaim Bloom could pull off another trade to add to the rotation, but for now it appears the Spring Training will consist of lengthy auditions for the fifth starting spot.
Preseason Prediction: Ryan Weber
A common theme – more roster turnover! Sandy Leon is now a member of the Cleveland Indians, leaving a void for the backup catcher position in Boston. The Red Sox have added Kevin Plawecki, Jonathan Lucroy, and Jett Bendy to compete with Juan Centeno for the backup to Christian Vazquez.
On the surface, it seems like it would be a two-man race between Plawecki and Lucroy as they have possessed the most Major League success. It’s not an awe-inspiring list, but the club could certainly do worse. Plawecki is serviceable in a backup role, while Lucroy possesses the ability to recapture All Star-caliber play after dealing with an extensive amount of injuries. If the Red Sox are able to get any real offensive output, it will be an upgrade over Leon.
Preseason Prediction: Jonathan Lucroy
The Red Sox have deployed a platoon at first base for a number of seasons now, and 2020 appears to be no different. Mitch Moreland is back in Boston, while Michael Chavis seems to be destined to make the move to first. A rotational basis will likely be deployed, but don’t sleep on Bobby Dalbec.
Dalbec is one of the more intriguing prospects within the organization and may end up taking over the starting role by the end of the season. He’s a power hitting first baseman that may start the season in Pawtucket, but may get a call up if there are injuries that force either Moreland or Chavis to miss time.
Preseason Prediction: Michael Chavis