Projected 2018 Red Sox Opening Day roster

Projected 2018 Red Sox Opening Day roster

OK, so here's the truth: the Red Sox haven't done anything and I don't think they will do anything anytime soon. That said, we might as well see what I think their Opening Day roster will look like, right (with explanations for omissions as well). Here we go:

Rotation

In
Chris Sale -- Ace

David Price -- Maybe this will be his breakout year in red socks.
Rick Porcello -- Look for somewhat of a bounce back year for the ex Cy Young winner.
Steven Wright -- Charges against him were dropped. He's a solid fill-in.
Drew Pomeranz -- 2016 All-Star. No. 2 starter last season. Big Smooth is really good.

No
Eduardo Rodriguez -- Knee rod will probably start the year on the DL. 

Bullpen

In
Craig Kimbrel -- Arguably the best closer in baseball.
Carson Smith -- He exists--and he is good.
Joe Kelly -- The guy can throw 104 mph.
Brian Johnson -- All signs point to the lefty going to the bullpen.
Robby Scott -- Won't pitch much, but spent most of last year at the MLB level.
Matt Barnes -- Average middle reliever. Interested to see if Alex Cora uses him less.
Heath Hembree -- Out of MiLB options. OK against righties. 

No
Tyler Thornburg -- Probably on the DL.
Brandon Workman -- Has an option left. Absolutely good enough to be in the bullpen though.
Austin Maddox -- See above. 
Ben Taylor -- Made Opening Day roster last year, but was hampered by injuries.

Lineup

In
Christian Vazquez (C) -- Proved he could hit last year
Mitch Moreland (1B) -- Should be better with a healed up toe.
Brock Holt (2B) -- Decent fill-in.
Xander Bogaerts (SS) -- He plays a lot.
Rafael Devers (3B) -- Power. Needs improvement defensively.
Andrew Benintendi (LF) -- Is handsome.
Jackie Bradley Jr. (CF) -- Awesome glove. Very inconsistent bat.
Mookie Betts (RF) -- MVP candidate?
JD Martinez (DH) -- Get this deal done.

No 
Dustin Pedroia -- Likely on the DL

Bench:

In 
Sandy Leon (C) -- Cannon arm. 
Hanley Ramirez (1B) -- Probably some 1B action vs LHP.
Deven Marrero (UTL) -- Very good glove at three infield spots.
Blake Swihart (UTL) -- Decent hitter. Can catch, play 1B, LF and likely 2B. 

No
Marco Hernandez (UTL) -- Can't play 3B effectively, Marrero and Swihart are out of options.
Tzu-Wei Lin (UTL) -- Blocked by guys who don't have options.
Bryce Brentz -- Good power, but probably needs guys to get hurt to make the team.
Sam Travis -- There's already two 1B on the roster. If Hanley is hurt, he can take that spot. 
Rusney Castillo -- Too expensive.

Quick notes. If the Red Sox don't get JD Martinez, Hanley probably DH's again. Also, Brock Holt has a minor league option left, so when Pedroia comes back, he could be sent to AAA. Also, Matt Barnes has an option, so it will be interesting to see if Workman can make the team over him.