Red Sox Spring Training:How Will Things Look For 2015?

As spring training opens today for the Sox, things are going to start to shape out. Here’s how I think things will turn out in the end.

The Starters

Lineup
I will talk about each of the nine players I could see being starters in the lineup.

Here’s a glance at some possible batting orders the Red Sox could use this year.

1.Rusney Castillo CF
2.Dustin Pedroia 2B
3.David Ortiz DH
4.Mike Napoli 1B
5.Pablo Sandoval 3B
6.Allen Craig LF
7.Hanley Ramirez RF
8.Xander Bogaerts SS
9.Christian Vazquez/Blake Swihart/Ryan Hanigan C

Or this one.

1.Rusney Castillo CF
2.Shane Victorino RF
3.Dustin Pedroia 2B
4.David Ortiz DH
5.Mike Napoli 1B
6.Pablo Sandoval 3B
7.Hanley Ramirez LF
8.Xander Bogaerts SS
9.Christian Vazquez/Blake Swihart/Ryan Hanigan C

Maybe put Victorino 7th.

1.Rusney Castillo CF
2.Dustin Pedroia 2B
3.David Ortiz DH
4.Mike Napoli 1B
5.Pablo Sandoval 3B
6.Hanley Ramirez LF
7.Shane Victorino RF
8.Xander Bogaerts SS
9.Christian Vazquez/Blake Swihart/Ryan Hanigan C

Now I talk about the possible players.

Christian Vazquez

Vazquez did do well as a rookie last year, and should most likely continue through this year. However, I could see Blake Swihart or Ryan Hanigan being a good catcher filling in for Vazquez so I don’t expect to see Vazquez play every game. I say have Vazquez be the starter, but let Blake Swihart or Ryan Hanigan fill in every few games. They could both be great prospects for the team.

Blake Swihart

Last year Swihart was a top catching prospect for the Red Sox. I say after that, have him stay and let him play some. What happened to Anthony Rizzo and Hanley Ramirez after being traded away as prospects. They became stars, enough even for Ramirez to be signed to a contract with Boston again this year. Swihart should see plenty of time on the field this year.

Ryan Hanigan

See Blake Swihart, because Hanigan is a very similar story. They just have to decide who to keep on the roster in the majors.

Mike Napoli

He nearly guranteed himself the spot at first again this year. Hey, Brock Holt might back up for him though. You saw what Holt did last year that surprised everyone. I expect they’ll keep him backing up for people in the infield. Maybe he’ll even play at shortstop for Bogaerts or Hanley Ramirez. Napoli will continue to be a big hitter and play first, he’s not going anywhere else but first base for the Boston Red Sox.

Dustin Pedroia

It might take some time for Pedey to come back from last year’s injury, but that’s where Brock Holt comes in. Holt will start the year for Pedroia, then Pedroia will take over a few games in and start to make his way back to being the great player he was before for this team.

Xander Bogaerts

Definitely could see him or Ramirez at shortstop this year, but after Bogaerts’ struggles from last year, I could see Brock Holt playing this position for some of the year as well, so definitely keep Holt on the roster, in case Hanley Ramirez plays outfield instead. Bogaerts might do well as he starts the year while Holt starts at second for Pedroia, maybe he won’t need much of Holt’s help to have shortstop stay secure, and protect it from being the Sox’s target weakness.

Brock Holt

Keep Holt on the roster as a backup or shortstop because you heard how much we might need him to jump around from position to position. He’ll back up any infielder on any day, so I say keep him on the roster is the most important thing for the infield this year. However, Mookie Betts could be another option if they don’t need him for the right field job, with Shane Victorino, maybe even Hanley Ramirez already there.

Pablo Sandoval

Panda’s only problem right now is being possibly too big, but the Sox again have Brock Holt if that becomes a problem. He may not be as much of a star, but if not, they can have Panda take spring training time on exercise equipment rather than with batting or fielding equipment.

Hanley Ramirez

Ramirez could be all over the place this year, as a backup outfielder, a starting left or right fielder, or a starting or backup shortstop. I think Ramirez will jump around, with infield support of Brock Holt and Xander Bogaerts and outfield support of Allen Craig and Shane Victorino, meaning players that can fill in for him at different positions.

Allen Craig

Craig may not be the starting left fielder, but he will have some sort of backup outfield job otherwise. Craig can fill in for left and right fielders well, although I wouldn’t see him playing center field if Rusney Castillo needs to have a day off.

Rusney Castillo

I see a lot of potential in this rookie center fielder who ended last season by starting there. I expect to see him continue as starting center fielder throughout the season. Could Castillo be the new Jacoby Ellsbury for the Red Sox, after seeing Ellsbury join the Yankees? No, not the base stealing part, the fielding, speed running and lead off hitting parts of his job, although he could make a decent base stealer.

Shane Victorino

This is who we’ll most likely see in right field if Ramirez can’t play right. However, Mookie Betts could fight him for the position but John Farrell said he shouldn’t lose his job just because he’s returning from an injury, so he wants to see him start in right field or maybe even backup Rusney Castillo in his position of center field he had with the Phillies three years ago.

Mookie Betts

Could see something from Betts this year, being in the field. They were so bad when he started playing that the times were hard to remember, even watch then. He might get past Victorino for the right field job, but John Farrell says not. He can be a sub this year practically anywhere, but I see outfield or second base being best for him.

David Ortiz

Don’t forget Big Papi, who will still be a star hitter for the Red Sox. I don’t see him going anywhere, at least not for these next few years. He will stay in the MLB a little longer, and hopefully, but most likely stay with the Red Sox. It would not be good to lose the hitting power of David Ortiz.

So, here’s what I see the non pitching roster being for Boston, I don’t see many pitchers staying on the 25 man roster.

Mookie Betts
Xander Bogaerts
Rusney Castillo
Allen Craig
Ryan Hanigan(maybe not)
Brcok Holt
Mike Napoli
Daniel Nava (I didn’t mention him, but maybe)
David Ortiz
Dustin Pedroia
Hanley Ramirez
Pablo Sandoval
Blake Swihart
Christian Vazquez
Shane Victorino

These are the players who will go up and down from the minors to the majors.

Jackie Bradley Jr.
Bryce Brentz
Garin Cecchini
Sean Coyle
Ryan Hanigan
Daniel Nava

These players will spend most of the time in the minors

Travis Shaw

Pitchers

Here’s what I think will be the starting rotation.

Justin Masterson
Rick Porcello
Joe Kelly
Wade Miley
Clay Buchholz

Now I will talk about each of the guys

Clay Buchholz

Buchholz was once an ace, but he got injured in 2013. It ruined him and now he stinks, but maybe he’s finsly fully recovered, fully back. Part of me thinks that he will become an ace again this year, the team ace the Sox are missing, although the rotation is good the way it is.

Joe Kelly

Kelly also has some ace qualities, and I expect him to be a good part of the rotation, even after picking up three great pitchers in the off season. They don’t have Lester or Hamels, so that leaves room for Kelly to do well.

Justin Masterson

I could see a lot out of an also former, but new Red Sox pitcher. Masterson was good on the Indians and I could see him being even better now that he’s back on his old team, the Boston Red Sox. So, I could even see him being at the top of the rotation this year and be much improved.

Wade Miley

Miley was a pitcher I had no idea about until he came to the Red Sox, when I realized he had been a star on the Diamondbacks. However, the D-Backs will stink even more this year with the loss of Wade Miley. I don’t see him being quite as good on the Sox though, but he will be something for the rotation still. Maybe after being the Diamondbacks star, he is going to be the Red Sox’s new ace.

Rick Porcello

Porcello is a good pitcher. However, they need more if they give up Yoenis Cespedes for him. They did need more pitchers that were good and to clear out the outfield a bit so they didn’t have to send stars to the minors though.
Porcello will do well on the Sox though, and would be a good second man in the rotation.

Here’s who I think will remain in the bullpen:

Craig Breslow
Edward Mujica
Alexi Ogando
Robbie Ross
Junichi Tazawa
Koji Uehara

I’m not going to talk about them today, but I will wrap up by telling you the pitchers that will come up and down from the minors and which pitchers will stay in the minors

Up and Down
Matt Barnes
Edwin Escobar
Heath Hembree
Tommy Layne
Anthony Varvaro
Brandon Workman
Steven Wright

Minors
Eduardo Rodriguez
Zeke Spruill

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