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Predicting the Red Sox roster, version 2

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  March 11, 2013 09:55 AM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. Now that there have been some injuries, let's take another look at what the roster may look like on Opening Day.

As a refresher, here is what we predicted on Feb. 27. Obviously there have been some developments since.

ROTATION (5)
LHP Jon Lester
RHP Clay Buchholz
RHP Ryan Dempster
LHP Felix Doubront
RHP John Lackey

Breakdown: No changes here since the first version. Doubront is back in the rotation and seems to be holding onto his spot despite a shaky start. He is out of minor league options, so the Red Sox can't just cavalierly replace him. Plus he was pretty good last season.

BULLPEN (7)
RHP Joel Hanrahan
RHP Andrew Bailey
RHP Junichi Tazawa
RHP Koji Uehara
LHP Andrew Miller
RHP Clayton Mortensen
RHP Alfredo Aceces

Breakdown: LHPs Craig Breslow (shoulder) and Franklin Morales (back) seem destined for the disabled list. Breslow is a lock at this point as he has yet to throw off a mound. Morales appeared in one game before his back pain started. The final two spots will come down to Mortensen, Aceves and Daniel Bard. Mortensen and Aceves are a bit redundant in that they are multi-inning relievers. But Mortensen has a funky delivery that sets him apart from the rest of the relievers while Aceves has late-game experience. Bard has minor league options, so the Red Sox could drop him down and protect their depth. Uehara, though righthanded, has been death on lefties in his career. So the Sox can survive until Morales and Breslow return.

LINEUP (9)
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
2B Dustin Pedroia
DH Mike Napoli
LF Jonny Gomes
3B Will Middlebrooks
RF Shane Victorino
SS Stephen Drew
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
1B Mike Carp

Breakdown: Now that David Ortiz appears headed for the disabled list, a lineup that needs power looks a lot weaker. Carp provides a steady glove at first and could add a little power. Keeping Ryan Lavarnway is another possibility. If the Sox rolled the dice with Jackie Bradley, that would be a surprise.

BENCH (4)
C David Ross
1B-OF Daniel Nava
2B-SS-3B Pedro Ciriaco
RF-CF-LF Ryan Sweeney

Breakdown: The loss of Ortiz affects the bench, too. The Sox could keep slugger Mauro Gomez, who is basically a DH because of his below-average defensive skills. Or they could try and stay versatile with Nava and Sweeney. That would allow for Gomes (or even Victorino) to DH on occasion. Lots of possibilities here.

What do you think the roster should be? Please leave a comment.

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