I really think Youk & DMac will be the odd men out. I wonder if the Sox will give Youk a legitimate chance to play everyday, even if just to showcase him for a deadline trade.
If everyone is healthy, we have a lot of legitimate MLB players:
3 Cs: Salty, Shopp & Lava
2 1B: AGon & Gomez/Lars
1 2B: Pedey & Ciriaco
2 3B: Youk & Middlebrooks
2 SS: Aviles & Iggy
4 LF: CC, Ross, DMac & Nava
2 CF: Ellsbury & Byrd
1 RF: Sweeney
1 DH: Ortiz
This is 19 guys for 13 slots. Gomez, Anderson, Iggy, & Lavarnway can safely stay in AAA, and DMac and/or Byrd could be dealt or DFA'd to leave us with a solid and deep 13, but that would leave us with a bunch of poor fielding OF'ers (CC, Ross & Nava) all best suited for LF. Perhaps Nava will be sent back down and Byrd will stay.
If Bailey and Dice-K return to form, and everyone is healthy,we really have too many mediocre pitchers for the last slots on the staff:
3- 100% sure 25-man roster pitchers if healthy:
Beckett, Lester & Aceves
6- Close to 100% sure 25-man roster pitchers:
Bailey, Bard, Buch, Doubront, Morales, R Hill
8- Mediocre bottom of the pen pitchers:
Matsusaka, Atchison, Mortensen, Tazawa, Albers, Padilla, Miller & Melancon
6- Projects/Gambles of prospects perhaps ready for MLB:
Cook, Germano, Duckworth, Mathis, Olendorf, Wilson
If Dice-K makes the 25-man roster, that gives us 10 pitchers. That leaves 7 Mediocre pitchers and 6 projects left to fight for 2-3 slots. While it's true "you can never have too much pitching", I don't think that applies to "too many" mediocre pitchers fighting for a couple of spots.
I'd like to see us try and find a way to deal a few of these guys for a much better upgrade giving us 11 solid pitchers and maybe 7 guys fighting for 1-2 slots instead of 10 solid and 13 fighting for the last 2-3 slots.