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Predicting the Red Sox roster, Version 3

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  March 22, 2013 10:22 AM

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FORT MYERS, Fla. The Red Sox break camp on March 30 and head for New York. With just over a week left before that flight, let's take a look at where the roster stands.

For reference purposes, here is Version 1 of this exercise and Version 2.

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

Breakdown: Same as it ever was. The Sox lined these guys up from the start and that is how it has stayed. Barring injury, nobody really had a chance to break into this group. This quintet has a 2.52 ERA in spring training with Lester and Buchholz (33.1 IP, 3 ER) particularly impressive.The depth group in Pawtucket will have Allen Webster, Chris Hernandez, Steven Wright and Terry Doyle. By summer, maybe Rubby De La Rosa, too.

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

Breakdown: Daniel Bard is well down the road of shedding the woes that wrecked last season. But he's not all the way there yet and does have options, so look for him to start the year in Pawtucket. There are four solid set-up guys in this group and multi-inning types in Mortensen and Aceves. The spot starter would be Aceves.

LINEUP (9)
CF Jacoby Ellsbury
DH/LF Daniel Nava
2B Dustin Pedroia
1B Mike Napoli
3B Will Middlebrooks
C Jarrod Saltalamacchia
LF/DH Jonny Gomes
RF Shane Victorino
SS Jose Iglesias

Breakdown: Unless David Ortiz is going to miss months instead of weeks (and that doesn't seem to be the case), it's hard to make a good case for Jackie Bradley Jr. Fun as it would be, it makes more sense to fill in the gaps and let the phenom develop some more in Pawtucket. But if the Sox are scuffling two weeks in, JBJ could get the call. The Sox will shuffle the DH spot around a bit. They like what they have seen of Nava, even batting righthanded. Victorino will hit second against lefties and Gomes will move up.

BENCH (4)
C David Ross
INF Pedro Ciriaco
OF Ryan Sweeney
1B-LF Mike Carp

Breakdown: Ross and Ciriaco are locks. Sweeney gives them defensive coverage at all three spots in the outfield. Carp can handle first when Napoli is the DH or gets day off.

DISABLED LIST
LHP Craig Breslow (shoulder
SS Stephen Drew (concussion)
OF Ryan Kalish (shoulder)
LHP Franklin Morales (back)
DH David Ortiz (right foot)

Breakdown: Drew will be the fastest of the bunch to return, or should be, as he has started baseball activities. In theory, he could miss one game because his DL stint can be backdated. Ortiz looks like a late April/early May return. Morales is throwing again and may only miss a few weeks of the season. Breslow has yet to take the mound. We could be looking at a month. Kalish, if he is fortunate, will get in some minor league games by the end of the season. He is recovering from surgery.

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