The Boston Red Sox have a lot of different players on the roster this season after Mookie Betts and David Price were traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, and Connor Wong.
Their ace, Chris Sale, is out for the season with Tommy John surgery and Eduardo Rodriguez is still not able to report to Fenway Park after he tested positive for the corona virus.
So with all of the moving parts, let’s dive into the roster we should see come July 24 vs the Baltimore Orioles for the season opener.
1. Andrew Benintendi
Benintendi should slot into the lead-off spot come Opening Day after Betts’ departure. He has fixed his swing and seems to be a doubles machine in Summer Camp.
2. Rafael Devers
Devers is one of the most underrated players in the league and he continues to display power at the top of Boston’s lineup.
3. Xander Bogaerts
Bogaerts is the best player on the Red Sox and is the face of the organization now after Betts was traded. The star shortstop hit over 30 home runs last year with a batting average over .300 in the middle of the lineup.
4. J.D. Martinez
Martinez will yet again sit in the middle of a talented lineup and is off to a very hot start in Summer Camp. He has already totaled three home runs in the intrasquads and so he could be a sneaky pick to be the AL home run leader through 60 games.
5. Mitch Moreland
Mitch Moreland is an anchor in this lineup and is someone who is a great leader and will put his head down and just drive in runs.
6. Christian Vasquez
Vasquez could make a case as the best catcher in the American League after Gary Sanchez and Mitch Garver and so he should be a pretty consistent bat in Ron Roenicke’s lineup.
7. Alex Verdugo
I think you could put Verdugo in the fifth spot as well, and in fact, he is probably going to be the guy that could bat lead-off some games and then move around to different spots in the lineup when some guys get days off.
Verdugo is going to have some pressure on him because he was the key piece coming back in the Mookie Betts trade so Red Sox fans might not be too happy with him if he doesn’t produce in his first year with the club.
8. Jackie Bradley Jr.
Hopefully Bradley Jr. is able to get on a hot streak over this two month season because when he is hot he is one of the most productive bats in baseball.
9. Jose Peraza
Ron Roenicke has already been very positive about Peraza’s swing and so I see him slotting into the nine spot instead of Michael Chavis because Chavis will be better served as a backup utility man where Peraza would primarily focus on second base.
1. Nathan Eovaldi
Eduardo Rodriguez would have been the Opening Day starter, but he tested positive for COVID-19, which delayed his arrival to camp while Eovaldi is in much better game shape.
If the Red Sox have a chance to be in contention, Eovaldi will need to give Roenicke quality innings and keep the lineup in the game.
2. Martin Perez
Martin Perez has a spot in the rotation and Boston will need Perez to be the first half version of Martin Perez when he was an anchor in the Twins rotation last season.
3. Ryan Weber
Weber pitched well in Spring Training before the shut down and he was going to get a rotation spot. He earned the #3 spot at least until Rodriguez comes back, and I think the Red Sox will take it if he is just an innings eater.
4. Brian Johnson
Here is where the Red Sox really start to feel the loss of Price and Sale because Brian Johnson was someone that was sent down to the minor leagues in November of last year, and although he has done well in intrasquad games we just don’t know what to expect from him.
You will take what you can get from the opener spot until Eduardo Rodriguez comes back. Of course, we are hoping we only see the opener for the first couple of weeks of the season, but the options to start the game in this spot are Chris Mazza, Jeffrey Springs, Kyle Hart, among others.
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(Photo: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox, Getty Images)