Monday, March 28, 2011

Final Roster is In

The Red Sox have finalized their roster for opening day, according to Gordon Edes at ESPNBoston. There aren't any big surprises, as the Red Sox have gone with maintaining depth. For the final two bullpen spots, Dennys Reyes (L) and Matt Albers (R) won out. Both pitched very well in spring training and were out of options. In order to keep Alfredo Aceves or Hideki Okajima, the Red Sox would have had to expose Albers or Reyes to waivers. Aceves pitched fairly well, and will be stretched out as a starter in AAA to provide some much needed starting pitching depth. With Felix Doubront hitting the DL with an elbow injury, Aceves is the Red Sox first option should one of their front five go down. Papelbon, Bard, Jenks, Wakefield, and Wheeler round out the rest of the bullpen.

Thanks to Jed Lowrie's flexibility, the Red Sox are only carrying one back up infielder. That should ensure that he's able to get semi-regular at bats to start the season. It also lets the Red Sox keep both Mike Cameron and Darnell McDonald as back up outfielders. I'd expect Cameron to get fairly regular AB against lefties, spelling Drew and Ellsbury, while McDonald is more of a typical backup getting only a handful of at bats in blow outs. Having two guys who can man centerfield on the bench is a nice situation to have. Ryan Kalish and Josh Reddick, McDonald's only real competition for the final outfield spot, were both sent down to minor league camp a few days ago. As with the relievers, because Kalish and Reddick have options remaining, the Red Sox are able to hang on to more assets than if they exposed McDonald to waivers. Perhaps more importantly, this will ensure that both Reddick and Kalish get regular at bats so they can continue to improve.

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