Opening Day is this upcoming Monday and if the Red Sox smashing the Pirates, 9-2, on Tuesday, doesn’t have you pumped up for the season, then maybe it’s time to talk up every single player who is expected to be on the Opening Day roster. In fact, we’ll do it right now.
Rick Porcello — The dude won the Cy Young last year.
Chris Sale — He’s been an All-Star each of the past five seasons.
Drew Pomeranz — Guy was an All-Star last year and one of the best pitchers in the National League.
Steven Wright — Guy was an All-Star last year and one of the top pitchers in the American League in the first half.
Eddie Rodriguez — One of the best starters in the second half last season (3.24 ERA in final 14 starts).
David Price (DL) — Won the Cy Young award in 2012; one of the best pitchers in the league from mid-May onward last year.
Craig Kimbrel — Not only does he throw gas, but he has 255 saves in the past five seasons; career 1.86 ERA.
Joe Kelly — The flamethrower owns a 2.69 ERA in 44 career relief outings.
Matt Barnes — Led the team in appearances (62) last year and struck out 71 men in 66.2 innings.
Heath Hembree — Held righties to a .201 batting average last year. Career 2.87 ERA in 75 outings.
Robbie Ross Jr. — Held lefties to a .188 batting average last year. Nickname is “The Lawnmower”
Fernando Abad — Can only get better this season. Held lefties to a .153 batting average last year.
Robby Scott — Threw seven scoreless MLB outings last year. Allowed one run in 11 outings this spring.
Tyler Thornburg (DL) — 2.15 ERA, 90 strikeouts in 67 innings last year. Has experience closing games.
Sandy Leon — Leon was like the greatest hitter in MLB history for a month last year and he’s thrown out 43 percent of attempted stealers lifetime.
Mitch Moreland — Good power bat vs. right-handed pitching. Won a Gold Glove last year.
Dustin Pedroia –2008 AL MVP. Longest-tenured member of the team. Maybe one of the most underrated players in baseball.
Xander Bogaerts — Best Red Sox shortstop since Nomar.
Pablo Sandoval — Whole hell of a lot slimmer this year. Had a great spring and has more World Series rings than any of these guys.
Andrew Benintendi — Hit .295 from August onward last year. Top prospect in baseball. Finally, an answer to the Sox LF problem.
Mookie Betts — MVP candidate. Does everything well.
Jackie Bradley Jr. — Can get really hot at the plate. Smacked 26 home runs. Plays first-class defense.
Hanley Ramirez — Smashed 30 home runs last year. Taking David Ortiz’ spot at DH.
Christian Vazquez — Elite defensive catcher. Cannon ahm.
Brock Holt –Plays seven positions. 2015 All-Star.
Marco Hernandez — Versatile infielder. Hit .294 in 40 big league games last year and had a great spring.
Chris Young — Destroys left-handed pitching. 2010 All-Star who clubbed 32 home runs in 2007.
Josh Rutledge (DL) — Plays every infield spot. Has a little pop.