Looking At The 2020 Red Sox Roster

We are closing in on Opening Day for Major League Baseball. The 2020 Red Sox roster will look different this season, mainly because of the protocols that are in place for COVID-19. Major League teams will be allowed to carry 30 players on the active roster, while having other players at an alternative site. For the Red Sox, that alternative site will be McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI. Here, players will be waiting for the call up to Boston. At McCoy, players will be able to workout and practice so that they will be ready in case they have to go to Boston.

Like 2020, this season will be different for the Red Sox. The 2020 Red Sox roster will startred sox roster 2020 off with 30 players, then go down to 28, and end with 26 after a month. While there won’t be an All-Star Game, and we won’t get a chance to see certain teams like the Astros or the Dodgers, there will be a trade deadline at the end of August. The fun begins on Friday, so let’s see what the Red Sox will be bringing to the table.

Breaking Down The 2020 Red Sox Roster

At the catcher’s position, odds are the Red Sox will have Christian Vazquez, Jonathan Lucroy and Kevin Plawecki on the roster. The Red Sox brought in Lucroy and Plawecki this past offseason on one year deals, following the trade of Sandy Leon. They will be fighting for the prime backup catcher position once the rosters go back down to 26, unless Ron Roenicke plans to keep all three catchers.

The infield will have many familiar faces in it. Mitch Moreland will be at first base, Xander Bogaerts at short stop, and Rafael Devers at third base. Michael Chavis will be on the roster, and most likely be platooning with Moreland at first. The Red Sox brought in Jose Pereza this past offseason to play second base. Tzu-Wei Lin and Jonathan Arauz will also be key utility infielders for Boston.

The Red Sox outfield has a few new faces in it. Joining Andrew Benintendi and Jackie Bradley Jr are Alex Verdugo and Kevin Pillar. Red Sox fans will remember Pillar, who played for the Toronto Blue Jays and the San Francisco Giants. Verdugo, who came to Boston in the Mookie Betts and David Price trade, will be looking to make a name for himself in the outfield.

The Red Sox have their designated hitter in slugger JD Martinez. After signing a five-year deal prior to the 2018 season, Martinez has decided to stay in a Red Sox uniform for the 2020 season, despite the opt out option in his contract.

The Starting Rotation and Bullpen

Right now going into the 2020 season, the Red Sox have Nathan Eovaldi, Martin Perez, Ryan Weber and Brian Johnson in their starting rotation. Eduardo Rodriguez will be joining the rotation at some point during the season, but there isn’t an exact timetable on that yet. Rodriguez didn’t report to camp until recently due to recovering from COVID-19. The Red Sox brought in Collin McHugh in March to fill in for a rotation spot, but he opted out of the 2020 season due to an arm injury. McHugh, who had elbow issues entering the season, didn’t think he would be ready for the 2020 season.

The Red Sox bullpen will look similar to last season, with a few new faces in the mix. Closer Brandon Workman is back for his role with the Red Sox. So will Matt Barnes, Ryan Braiser, Marcus Walden, and Colten Brewer. Newcomers Josh Osich, Jeffrey Springs, Chris Mazza, Austin Brice and Matt Hall will be looking to make a name for themselves in Boston this season.

The Week Ahead

The Red Sox play two exhibition games starting Tuesday night against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. Ryan Weber will get the ball for Boston, and Nate Pearson will get the ball for Toronto. Both games will be at 7:30pm.

The Red Sox will have an off day on Thursday, before welcoming the Baltimore Orioles to Fenway Park for Opening Day. Ron Roenicke announced recently that Nathan Eovaldi will be the Opening Day starter for Boston, since Eduardo Rodriguez is still getting ready for the season following a delayed start. John Means will be Baltimore’s Opening Day starter this season.

Closing Out The Road Trip Against The Angels in Anaheim

Last night’s epic win over the Angels was just what the doctor ordered for the Red Sox. The Red Sox, who are closing out the road trip against the Angels, are looking to end August on a high note. They are also looking to enter September strong as well.

Before closing out the road trip at Angels Stadium, the Red Sox have gone 4-1 on the road trip. They took two of the three games in San Diego, and took both games in Colorado. They’re currently at 72-62, and 5.5 games back of the Wild Card. Do they have what it takes to get one of the spots? Who knows, but September is slowly approaching.

A Not So Rockie Sweep

After splitting the two games against the Rockies in May, the Red Sox went to Denver and took both games. Led by a 478 foot home run by Jackie Bradley Jr, the Red Sox won the game, 10-6. Rick Porcello pitched 5 innings, picking up his 12th win of the season. The Rockies starter, Rico Garcia, made his MLB debut on Tuesday night, and was introduced to the Red Sox offense right away. Garcia lasted 5 innings as well, but gave up 6 earned runs.

Game 2 was a sweet win for Boston, as Xander Bogaerts became the first Red Sox shortstop in 21 years to hit 30 home runs, and have 100 RBI’s in a season. The last time it was done, was by Nomar Garciaparra in 1998. Bogaerts hit 2 home runs in the game to lead Boston to the 7-4 win in Denver. J.D. Martinez and Rafael Devers also hit home runs in the game. Eduardo Rodriguez improved to 16-5 on the season, going 5 innings, allowing 3 runs and striking out 5.

Closing Out The Road Trip in Anaheim

After an off day, the Red Sox had Nathan Eovaldi going up against Jose Suarez. The game started off with a bang, thanks to Mookie Betts’ 22nd home run of the season. Despite a 6-4 lead, the Angels tied it in the bottom of the 9th inning due to a two-run single by Albert Pujols. It wasn’t until the top of the 15th inning when Mookie Betts launched home run number 23 to left field that pushed Boston to a 7-6 win.

Game two will feature Dillon Peters for the Angels, and the Red Sox have yet to name a starter. Peters, who is in his third Major League season, is looking for his fourth win in an Angels uniform. The Red Sox might send out Brian Johnson for the game. Johnson, who has been a spot starter for Boston this season, last started on Sunday against the Padres.

Sunday’s game will have David Price against Andrew Heaney. This will be Price’s first start since coming off of the injury list. Price will be looking to improve to 8-5 on the season. He last pitched on August 4th against the Yankees, where he only went 2.2 innings, allowing seven runs off of nine hits. Heaney will be looking to get his fourth win of the season in the game against the Red Sox.

Going Into The Final Month

The Red Sox will be closing out the road trip this weekend in Anaheim. From there, the team will be coming back to Fenway Park to face the Minnesota Twins and New York Yankees. This series, and this home stand, is important to the Red Sox if they want to see the postseason. Both the Twins and Yankees are on a tear with no signs of slowing down.

From now until the last game at the end of September is important. If the Red Sox want to defend their title, they need to keep winning games, and stay healthy. They already lost Chris Sale for the rest of the season due to an elbow injury. Also, starting September 1st, rosters expand, so we will start seeing minor leaguers coming up to the big league club to contribute. It will be an interesting month, that’s for sure.

Player’s Weekend Begins In San Diego

As the Red Sox begin their road trip, their first stop is Petco Park in San Diego. This weekend is also the annual Player’s Weekend, in which the players will be wearing special uniforms with a nickname on the back. Instead of the usual Little League uniform style, MLB introduced a new style for this weekend. Players will either wear black on black, or white on white jerseys.

In the past, the Red Sox haven’t done so well during the Player’s Weekend. They’replayer's weekend looking to turn it around this weekend, as they begin a three game series against the NL East San Diego Padres. This will be their first trip to Petco Park since September 2016, when they went 2-1 against the Padres.

The Baltimore Sweep

After taking the last two games in Cleveland, the Red Sox felt pretty confident heading back to Fenway Park to face the Baltimore Orioles. The first game was just what Red Sox Nation needed. The offense brought in nine runs, and Rick Porcello pitched six solid innings, earning his eleventh win of the season. Both Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland tripled, and Mookie Betts hit his 21st home run of the season.

Eduardo Rodriguez got the ball in game 2 of the series. Rodriguez went 7.1 innings, allowing only four hits and striking out four. Both Brock Holt and Rafael Devers homered, and the Red Sox took the second game, 4-0.

Game three proved to be a challenge for the Red Sox. After taking the first two from the Orioles, and riding a four game winning streak, Alex Cora sent Nathan Eovaldi to the mound to start the game. After allowing six runs in three innings, the Red Sox offense went to work. Devers hit a grounder to the second baseman, which scored Chris Owings. Sam Travis hit a solo home run, and Devers hit a two run home run in the game. The final was 13-7, and allowed Boston to ride a five game win streak.

The Philadelphia Invasion

The Red Sox welcomed the Phillies for their annual matchup at Fenway Park. This two game set didn’t go as planned for Boston, as they lost both games. Pitching in place of the injured Chris Sale, Brian Johnson got the ball in game one against Aaron Nola. Despite a home run by Jackie Bradley Jr, the Red Sox couldn’t come back from the 3-0 deficit with a final score of 3-2.

Game two of two didn’t go so well for Boston either. The Red Sox sent Rick Porcello to the mound against former Tampa Bay Ray, Drew Smyly. Boston started off the scoring, carrying a 2-0 lead into the top of the fifth. From there, the Phillies, led by a Bryce Harper two-run home run, scored three runs in the fifth. From there, the Phillies added on two more runs. The final score was 5-2.

Brockstar Walks It Off

After a two week wait, the Red Sox finally finished off the Royals. For those who don’t remember, the Red Sox had the lead in the last game against the Royals, until Darwinzon Hernandez and Nathan Eovaldi allowed a run each to score. The rain, of course, was another factor in the delay. As the ninth inning started, the rain slowly came down. Rain eventually delayed the game, which was postponed to August 22nd.

Anyways, in a game that wasn’t deemed to last long, the Red Sox walked it off in about 12 minutes. With one out, Christian Vazquez doubled to center field. Chris Owings came in to replace Vazquez as a pinch runner. Sam Travis was intentionally walked, leaving Richard Lovelady to face Brock “Brockstar” Holt. Sure enough, Holt hit a single to left field, allowing Owings to score. The Red Sox finally won, 5-4.

Player’s Weekend – San Diego Edition

Eduardo Rodriguez has the ball in game one against rookie Chris Paddack. Game two will have Nathan Eovaldi going up against Donelson Lamet. Cora has yet to name a starter for the final game, but the Padres will be sending Joey Lucchesi to the mound.

The Red Sox will be seeing some familiar faces in San Diego this weekend. The most notable is Manny Machado. Lucky for him, Machado will not be facing Chris Sale this weekend. Another is former Royal Eric Hosmer. During the 2017 off season, Hosmer signed an eight year deal with San Diego. Former Red Sox prospect Manuel Margot is also with the Padres. Margot was acquired by San Diego in the 2015 off season that saw Craig Kimbrel come to Boston.

Red Sox Treading Water Heading into New York

The Red Sox head to Yankee Stadium looking to save their season. After a home series against the Rays that didn’t go well, they turn to New York to make their dreams come true. With the Red Sox treading water, other contenders are moving ahead.

As the trade deadline passed, the front office left the team as is. Also, dropping two of thered sox treading water three games to Tampa Bay didn’t help their cause. With the wild card spot in sight, the Red Sox look to turn it around in August.

A Pivotal Series in New York Begins Now

Last weekend, the Red Sox won three of the four games against the Yankees at Fenway Park. Now, they look to take all four from the Yankees on their own turf.

Game one starts on Friday night with Eduardo Rodriguez going up against James Paxton. Rodriguez is looking to continue his dominating season and getting his 14th win. Paxton, on the other hand, is looking to prove himself worthy of wearing the pinstripes by winning his 6th game of the season.

Saturday’s game is a double header due to a rain out earlier in the season. The Red Sox have yet to name a starter for the games, however, it looks like it may be Chris Sale for game one, and Brian Johnson for game two. As for the Yankees, they’re sending out Domingo German for the first game, but haven’t announced a starter for the second game.

The finale on Sunday is looking to feature David Price and JA Happ. Price, who is coming off of three straight bad starts, is looking to win against the Yankees. Happ is also looking to turn things around in this one, especially since his last few starts didn’t go as planned either.

Can The Red Sox Stop Treading Water in August?

With the Red Sox treading water, can they pull it together and take over second place? Can they overcome their pitching struggles and win ball games? Can the offense put some hits together and score runs? These are all questions that Red Sox Nation has, especially since nothing happened on July 31st.

The bright spot for the Red Sox is Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers. They’re both putting up career numbers, and are leading the team in a number of offensive categories. Just last night, Bogaerts hit number 24 and 25 on the home run total, and is one away from hitting number 100 in his career. Devers finished July hitting .358 with 9 home runs, bringing his total to 21 on the season.

Following the series in New York, Boston comes home to play against the Kansas City Royals and the L.A. Angels. From there, they go back on the road before coming back to Fenway for one final August homestand. Hopefully by the end of August, the Red Sox won’t be treading water, and will be nearing the Wild Card spot.

A Home Run Derby in Baltimore

After winning the last two games at home, the Red Sox went to Baltimore looking to add onto the win streak. That’s just what they did. The line up in the first game went to work early, and dished out a 13-2 victory. Brock Holt’s two run home run sparked a mini home run derby for Boston. In total, the Red Sox hit six home runs.

Between strong pitching, and heavy hitting, Boston swept Baltimore at Camden Yards.home run derby The line up added onto the home run total, hitting a total of nine home runs. JD Martinez hit three home runs, and overtook the team lead with 16 altogether. With the sweep, the Red Sox have now won five games in a row! They now move onto Target Field and the Twins.

Game One’s Home Run Derby Leads Boston to Victory

After splitting the series against Texas at Fenway, the Red Sox looked to do some damage in Baltimore. After being down 1-0, Brock Holt responded with a two run home run in the second inning. This sparked a great rally by Boston bats. A total of six home runs, and a strong start by Eduardo Rodriguez led Boston to a wild win.

Christian Vazquez hit a solo home run in the fourth inning, while Martinez hit a two run home run shortly after. Jackie Bradley Jr. joined in on the fun in the fifth, with a two run home run. The AL Rookie of the Year hopeful Michael Chavis also hit a two run shot in the same inning. JD Martinez, being JD, hit another home run as well.

Eduardo Rodriguez, looking for his seventh win, went seven innings, allowing six hits and one earned run. He also struck out four. The bullpen did their part as well, with solid innings by Travis Lakins and Josh Smith.

A Pitcher’s Duel in Game Two

Chris Sale got the start for Boston as they were looking to continue their hot streak. After a silent five innings, Boston punched a hole in the runs column, scoring three in the sixth inning. Xander Bogaerts run scoring double put the Sox up 1-0. From there, Brock Holt scored Bogaerts with a single, and a costly error by Baltimore scored Holt. JD Martinez also contributed with his team leading 16th home run in the seventh inning to solidify the home run derby.

With Sale dominating on the mound, Boston’s lead was pretty safe. Sale pitched six innings, allowing two runs while striking out ten. Four more runs by Boston will allow them to win 7-2, and Sale to pick up win number three. Marcus Walden, Matt Barnes and Brandon Workman did great out of the bullpen. The three men pitched the remainder of the game, allowing two hits, and striking out five to seal the deal.

The Sunday Finale vs The Orioles

This win was a little tougher to get, as Boston edged out Baltimore 8-6. The game did go into the tenth, but late inning home runs by Marco Hernandez and Rafael Devers led Boston to victory.

Brian Johnson got the start for the Red Sox on Sunday. He pitched three innings, allowing one run and striking out two. This was his first start off the injured list, so Cora and company didn’t want to push him too much. The bullpen took over from there, with Brandon Workman getting the win, his fifth of the season.

Probably the most impressive part of the game was the five run tenth inning. After Hernandez tied it in the ninth with his first home run of the season, Boston scored five in the tenth. This was led by Devers’ mammoth home run-a 458 foot shot-to lead it off.

Boston Looks to Continue the Streak in Minnesota

Rick Porcello has the ball in game one against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Twins, who are 47-23, took two out of three against the Kansas City Royals at home. Also this past weekend the Twins retired long time catcher Joe Mauer’s number 7. Mauer, who retired after last season, was a home grown Twin. He spent fifteen seasons in the Twin City, winning the AL MVP Award in 2009. Near the end of his career, Mauer played first base and DH’ed.

Believing in Brian Johnson

The old expression is “You gotta believe.” For pitcher Brian Johnson, believing he can assist the Red Sox in the bullpen is something for which he is responsible. Throughout his career, Johnson has gone through a roller coaster ride – from spot starts, to coming out of the bullpen for Boston. Looking for a greater role in 2019 will be interesting for Johnson.

On May 27th, 2017, Red Sox pitcher Brian Johnson did something that hasn’t been done in a Red Sox uniform since Pedro Martinez. Johnson pitched a complete game shut out against the Seattle Mariners. Where was I? Well, I was sitting in the bleachers, a few rows back from the bullpen, watching as Johnson threw strike after strike. The game lasted a little over two hours, which was remarkable.

For the guy who is like the underdog in the Red Sox organization, Johnson has been a constant presence in the Red Sox organization. For manager Alex Cora, relying on the veteran last season was key to the success this team had going into the postseason. Johnson had career highs in game appearances, as well as innings pitched.

From Starter to Reliever Back to Starter

Throughout his career in a Red Sox uniform, Johnson has been a spot starter for the Red Sox. In his 48 MLB appearances, only 19 of them have been starts. Johnson is 7-6 in his career, with a lifetime ERA of 4.69.

Following an injury to Clay Buchholz in 2015, Johnson was called up from Pawtucket, and made his MLB debut on July 21st of that season. He pitched in 4.1 innings in a loss to the Houston Astros. That game was the only one he would play in during the 2015 season, as he was sent back to Pawtucket.

The next time Johnson saw Major League action was in 2017. In that game, he pitched that remarkable shut out against the Seattle Mariners. Following that, he made four more starts for the Red Sox, going 2-0 with a 4.33 ERA.

In 2018, Cora used Brian Johnson quite a bit. He pitched in 38 games, while making 13 starts. Johnson went 4-5 with a 4.17 ERA last season, however, he was not added to the postseason roster.

Johnson, who is currently on the injured list, is part of the 2019 team. So far, he has pitched 4 games out of the bullpen, with all those games being on the road. On Opening Day at Fenway, Johnson was presented with his first championship ring. It was well earned too, due to the work he did during the 2018 season.

Can We Call Brian Johnson The Underdog?

For a guy whose career has been up and down, Johnson has been a consistent presence in the Red Sox organization. I think that he will continue to surprise us all when he runs out of the bullpen. Johnson has the ability to dominate in games. It’s just a matter of trust in his pitches.

Many might disagree when I say that Johnson is the secret weapon in the bullpen. However, when you look at what he has been able to accomplish and overcome in his life, he is truly one of the good guys.