The Red Sox aren’t playing their first regular season game until April 4 when they take on the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland. But by now, it is pretty safe to say what the Opening Day roster should look like. And here’s a look at that.
David Price — He’s the ace.
Rick Porcello — He’s making ace money.
Clay Buchholz — He can be great — when healthy.
Joe Kelly — A strong performance down the stretch last season helped him secure a job.
Steven Wright — He’s out of options. He’s projected to make the roster and he can eat innings. Logically, he can fill the five while Eddie Rodriguez is on the Disabled List.
Craig Kimbrel — The Red Sox probably feel pretty good about the ninth inning now.
Koji Uehara — They must have that same optimism when it comes to the eighth inning.
Matt Barnes — With Carson Smith on the Disabled List, the Red Sox turn to another young arm who can bring the heat. He also pitched well down the stretch last season.
Robbie Ross Jr. — From June 1 onward, the lefty had a 3.33 ERA last season. He’s the Sox best lefty reliever.
Junichi Tazawa — The longest-tenured member of the bullpen is back again.
Tommy Layne — God made this man to get left-handers out.
Noe Ramirez — The Sox haven’t sent him to minor league camp yet and he can eat innings. He could be alright in long relief while Wright is in the rotation.
Blake Swihart (C) — Christian Vazquez is still recovering from Tommy John Surgery. That helps Swihart.
Hanley Ramirez (1B) — When healthy, he’s a great bat. He’s working hard at first too.
Dustin Pedroia (2B) — Why change now?
Xander Bogaerts (SS) — He should have been an All-Star last year
Travis Shaw (3B) — Pablo Sandoval is hurt. So Shaw might just get that chance at third after all.
Rusney Castillo (LF) — Probably the biggest question mark in the starting nine. But John Farrell seems set on starting him since he’s an athlete and crushes left-handed pitching.
Jackie Bradley Jr. (CF) — Is there a better defensive outfielder in baseball? He also has some power.
Mookie Betts (RF) — Some people think he’s an MVP candidate.
David Ortiz (DH) — The legend will step up to the plate for one last season.
Ryan Hanigan (C) — The Sox had a winning catcher when he caught games last year. He’s the only catcher who can say that.
Pablo Sandoval (3B) — He’s a little banged up. It seems unlikely that this arrangement lasts forever.
Brock Holt (UTL) — Maybe the All-Star will make his debut on the mound this season.
Chris Young (OF) — Left-handed pitchers: watch out.
Eddie Rodriguez (SP) — The lefty was lights out when he wasn’t tipping pitches last season. He’s past that now.
Carson Smith (MR) — When he’s healthy, the bullpen will be potent.