Projecting the Red Sox 26-Man Roster

Boston Red Sox

The MLB has made a rule change that has expanded the number of players on a team from 25 to 26. Teams are now allowed to carry 13 pitchers and 13 position players. Here is a look at the probable 2020 Opening Day Roster. Spring Training games are a few weeks away, but the majority of the roster is set in stone.

Starters (4)

  • Chris Sale
  • Eduardo Rodriguez
  • Nathan Eovaldi
  • Martin Perez

As it stands now, the Red Sox only have four starters. I expect this to change, as there are multiple arms still looking for a home. I wrote about that here, and am 1/1 on that list of needs so far (Kevin Pillar). Hopefully, the Red Sox will go out and sign someone like Salazar in the next coming days, otherwise, we may be looking at an opener to start the 2020 season. Ron Roenicke has spoken highly about Ryan Weber as a potential opener. Tanner Houck could challenge for a spot in the rotation, but he would need to be lights out all camp.

Relievers (9)

  • CP Brandon Workman
  • SU Matt Barnes
  • SU Heath Hembree
  • MR Marcus Walden
  • MR Darwinzon Hernandez
  • MR Ryan Brasier
  • MR Colten Brewer
  • MR Josh Taylor
  • LR Ryan Weber

This list figures to be the most inaccurate, as there are plenty of guys on this list that frankly should not be in the MLB. The Closer role is Workman’s to lose, with Barnes and Hembree likely to set-up the save. Walden is a fairly reliable middle reliever that will be given some high-leverage situations next season. When hot, Walden can be a dominant bullpen arm. Darwinzon Hernandez is the most intriguing pitcher to look out for in Spring Training. The 23-year-old can throw triple-digit fastballs with ease and features a filthy slider. If he can become a more accurate pitcher, his potential will be endless. Taylor has a path to the Opening Day roster as the only LHP in contention to make the bullpen. Brasier, Brewer, Shawaryn, Brice and Mazza will all fight for the last few spots in the rotation. It should be noted that the Red Sox have also brought in a bunch of new left-handed pitchers to compete for a roster spot.

Catchers (2)

  • Christian Vazquez
  • Kevin Plawecki

Not much to see here, if healthy Vazquez and Plawecki figure to be the Red Sox backstops. Barring injury, these two will be the catchers on Opening Day. Vazquez has developed into a solid, reliable player for Boston and will take a lot of the workload in 2020.

Infield (6)

  • 1B Mitch Moreland
  • 2B Michael Chavis
  • SS Xander Bogaerts
  • 3B Rafael Devers
  • UTL Jose Peraza
  • UTL Jonathan Arauz

I still believe that there is a chance Brock Holt comes back to Boston. However, the Red Sox took a shot on Peraza, who has a lot of potential for a Utility player. Moreland will split time with Chavis at 1B to open the season. Chavis will likely also play 2B along with Peraza. The 13th position player figures to be Jonathan Arauz, who likely will struggle to get on the field. I expect Bobby Dalbec to be in a similar situation as Chavis in 2019. I believe that Dalbec will impress in camp, but have to wait a month or so to finally get called up. C.J. Chatham is another prospect I expect to make the Red Sox roster at some point in 2020.

Outfielders (5)

  • Andrew Benintendi
  • Jackie Bradley Jr.
  • Alex Verdugo
  • Kevin Pillar
  • J.D. Martinez

This is another position group that is pretty set in stone. Verdugo is not guaranteed to make the Opening Day lineup (stress fracture in back) but he is not expected to start the season on the Injured List. Even if Verdugo does have a setback, the Red Sox would just make Martinez the fourth outfielder with Pillar starting in Right Field. Once the group is healthy, Pillar and JBJ will platoon in Center Field.