Photo by MassLive.com
The Red Sox season has come to a close. The Sox finished 93-69 for the second consecutive year, marking back to back AL East titles for the first time in franchise history. Now the most exciting time is finally here, the playoffs! The Red Sox will matchup against the Houston Astros in the ALDS.
As far as the Red Sox roster goes, there are a lot of questions mainly involving the pitching, who to take, and who to leave off. John Farrell stated that “it’s likely we carry eleven pitchers so how that combination of guys works best, and if it provides flexibility with a potential starter in Game 4, all those things are being looked a little bit deeper than just the surface at this point.” With this, the Red Sox are going to take the extra position player mostly due to the uncertainty involving the knees of Eduardo Nunez and Dustin Pedroia. Both are good to go and both will certainly be on the roster. There are many guys that are worthy, but in the end you can only take 25.
Here’s a look at my prediction of the 2017 Red Sox Playoff Roster:
Photo by chicagotribune.com
LHP Chris Sale
LHP Drew Pomeranz
LHP Eduardo Rodriguez
RHP Rick Porcello
RHP Craig Kimbrel
RHP Addison Reed
LHP David Price
RHP Carson Smith
RHP Joe Kelly
LHP Robby Scott
RHP Doug Fister
The Positional Players:
Catchers: Christian Vazquez, Sandy Leon.
Infielders: 1B Mitch Moreland, 1B Hanley Ramirez, 2B Dustin Pedroia, SS Xander Bogaerts, UTL Eduardo Nunez, 3B Rafael Devers, UTL Brock Holt, UTL Deven Marrero.
Outfielders: CF Jackie Bradley Jr., RF Mookie Betts, LF Andrew Benintendi, OF Rajai Davis.
OF Chris Young
Probably the most obvious. He hasn’t been able to produce against lefties or pretty much anyone. Young is batting a whopping .200 against lefties. That’s not what you’re looking for off the bench, but his veteran presence may play a factor so we’ll see.
RHPs Brandon Workman and Austin Maddox
These two were actually the hardest for me to leave off. Both pitched great towards the end of the year. Maddox only allowed 1 run in 17.1 innings pitched. Workman may have pitched himself off the roster the last week of the season though when he compiled a ERA of 6.00. In the end I went with someone with the length to go with Price and I chose Doug Fister.
RHPs Matt Barnes and Heath Hembree
Barnes is one of Farrell’s favorites. He’s just too inconsistent. In the playoffs, you really can’t afford for a guy to come in and walk the house, and walks are an issue with Barnes. He’s either good or bad, there isn’t an in between. With Heath Hembree, he just allows way too many base runners. You can’t do that against the Houston Astros, or really any big league team. The playoffs are for the best of the best, you have to be on your game. You’re looking for a pitcher to take the ball and perform, someone you can rely on, and I’m not sure Matt Barnes, nor Heath Hembree can provide that.
The pitching for this team looks good, like it has all year. We all know by now that the Red Sox don’t have that big homerun hitter and dangerous offense like they’ve had in the past so the pitching will be key. The offense is going to have to step up. You need that guy who’s going to get the clutch hits, that guy who’s going to hit the big homeruns, that pitcher who you can count on to put up zeros all across the board. It’s October, the playoffs are here, this is where legacies are made, and it all starts tomorrow at 8:00pm ET.