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.

David Price’s Attitude Is Child-Like

It’s the same old story for David Price, the stage is just a little smaller. Instead of tweeting from the clubhouse at Fenway Park, he is ignoring his problems in the friendly confines of Pawtucket, RI. But Pawtucket hasn’t been kind to Price. His recent actions have just David Price's attitudereinforced what we already knew: David Price’s attitude makes him look like a 12-year-old.

Price’s rehab starts for Pawtucket were highly anticipated as the Red Sox need him in the rotation like humans need air to breathe. Unfortunately for the Red Sox and their fans, they may be on a planet without oxygen. Put simply: Price has SUCKED.

After a mediocre first start where he only lasted two innings, he found a way to make it worse Wednesday. He went three and two-thirds, giving up six runs on seven hits and throwing 89 pitches. To make matters worse, Price left McCoy Stadium before talking to the media. Yes, he sped away in a $200,000 truck so jacked-up it resembles a tank and is aptly named the “General Patton.”

Amazingly, Price somehow navigated Route 93 through his tears, trying desperately to avoid the media. This is not high school. Frankly, this isn’t even the rest of the major league cities. The Boston sports media has tamed a lot over the last decade and yet Price still can’t handle it. There are beat writers who would lick off his own tears, but he had to dip out of a game early to avoid those monsters. God forbid we want to know why a Cy Young winner is getting lit up by a team called the Louisville Bats. How dare we.

David Price’s Attitude is Nothing New

This is only the latest in the teenage soap opera that has been Price’s Red Sox career. He has not been able to handle reporters bringing up his horrendous playoff resume and a lackluster 2016 season. Price has done interviews solely to show he cares for his teammates and that he has had it rough. If his thirst for being liked was the same as his thirst for winning playoff games, he’d be the second coming of Cy Young himself.

If Price thinks he has had it tough here, boy is he dumb. Carl Crawford had it tough. J.D. Drew had it tough. John Lackey had it ten times more tough than David Price has ever had it. Lackey was actually atrocious his first two seasons and was absolutely destroyed for it in the media. Now that is a guy who had a reason to complain. How did he answer it? He was great in 2013 and won the World Series. Price left a minor league game early in a tank!

Unfortunately, this is something we’re gonna have to deal with. He could opt out after next year but that is looking less and less likely. He certainly isn’t gonna change. He’s gonna tweet, he’s gonna do these dumb puff pieces in Boston Magazine, and he’s gonna complain. He hates Boston and Boston is gonna really start hating him back if he doesn’t just grow up.

David: your voice is deeper, your acne is gone; it’s not that scary to answer some questions after a crappy start. So just get over it.

History Made At McCoy Stadium as Castillo Demoted

On April 13th 2016, the baseball world was shaken to its core when history was made at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Records were broken, ticket sales skyrocketed and soon the Boston media will be swarming the Triple-A affiliate. Why? Well, with Rusney Castillo demoted to Triple-A, McCoy Stadium is nowCastilo demoted to pawtucket home to the highest payroll of all minor league baseball teams with over 70 million dollars on the books.

Rusney Castillo has more than 48 million dollars left on his seven-year, 72.5 million dollar deal that he signed in 2014. Old friend Allen Craig, who was once a promising slugger with the St. Louis Cardinals, has 21 million dollars (and a team-friendly 13 million dollar option in 2018) attached to his name. And if you want to be even more precise, once Pablo Sandoval joins the team on a rehab assignment they will have easily amassed the 100 million dollar threshold with the 72.4 million dollars remaining on the beefy third baseman.

Rusney Castillo Demoted to Pawtucket: History Made But at What Cost?

All kidding aside this is quite frankly embarrassing to a franchise that has already faced it’s share of criticism from media and fans alike since spring training. How an organization can have players with big major league contracts playing in Triple-A is beyond me, but it boasts an even bigger question—who’s to blame? Easy answer: ownership.

Spending a total of 275.5 million dollars on Castillo, Sandoval and Ramirez was not just a mistake, but a costly one. This team needed pitching in 2015, and they desperately  need pitching in 2016. Currently this pitching staff,including the bullpen, has a combined ERA of 5.40. Yes it’s still early enough that things can, and should turn around, but in the interim this organization is becoming the laughing-stock of the baseball world.

But hey, if you’re looking for family friendly baseball outings with major league talent, head on down to McCoy Stadium. Castillo and Craig will be there welcoming you with open arms. And maybe you’ll even get to see a Panda in action in weeks to come. Now wouldn’t that be a treat?

YOUNG PAWSOX FANS TO BROADCAST ON SUNDAYS AT McCOY

The Pawtucket Red Sox are inviting young fans, 9-18 years old, to be live on the air for an inning during Sunday PawSox home games on 920 WHJJ and the PawSox Radio Network, along with webcasts on MiLB.com.

“The PawSox Junior Announcers” will be youngsters from fourth grade through high PawSox fansschool, who will join professional announcers Josh Maurer and Will Flemming in the booth in the top of the fourth and lead the play by play in the bottom of the fourth.

“The dream of being a baseball play-by-play announcer is so vivid for so many children—and adults,” said PawSox President Dr. Charles Steinberg.  “For one inning on a Sunday afternoon, we can make that dream come true.  We look forward to having a young ‘Fan in the Fourth’ on Sundays.”

Applicants can send essays and homemade audition clips to the club via pawsox.com.  The children who are selected will be the PawSox’ guests at the game.

“Sundays are Family FunDays” also include fans running the bases after day games.

Each day of the week in 2016 has a theme, with full details at pawsox.com:

  1. My Hero Mondays honor a member of the community.
  2. TV Tuesdays salute a local television personality as well as baseball’s role on TV.
  3. Women & Baseball Wednesdays feature the accomplishments of women on the field and in the front office.
  4. Throwback Thursdays feature the team wearing replicas of the Pawtucket Slaters jerseys of the 1940s, as well as baseball cards of historic or nostalgic figures.
  5. Free [blank] Fridays offer an element of the experience at no charge, such as on-field photos with players or free concession items.
  6. SuperSox Saturdays feature many of the club’s premium giveaway items, such as Bobbleheads, as well as many of the club’s popular Fireworks Night presentations.
  7. Sundays are Family FunDays, when fans run the bases and kids play a host of roles at the game, including serving as public address announcer to introduce a player leading off an inning.

 

Blue Jays Starter Marcus Stroman Rehabs at McCoy Stadium

As the Red Sox focus on letting their young players get playing time down the stretch, the American League East leading Blue Jays are looking forward to getting back one of their key players for the stretch run. Starting Pitcher Marcus Stroman made a rehab appearance with the Buffalo Bisons on Monday at McCoy Stadium and said he is ready to return.

Stroman, 24, who is at the end of a crazy recovery after tearing his knee in Spring Marcus StromanTraining just fielding his position, seems to be done talking about his knee and ready to start for the Blue Jays. Stroman won 11 games for the Blue Jays last season in 20 starts and could take the rotation spot of Drew Hutchison, who has double digit wins but a very high ERA. Hutchison has already been demoted this season and would likely move to the bullpen if the Blue Jays decide Stroman is ready to return to the rotation.

If Stroman were to return to the rotation on regular rest, his first start of the season would come this Saturday against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.

In 3 innings of work Stroman had a line of 8 H, 4 ER, 4 BB and 5 K. Obviously not the line you look to get in 3 innings of work against a PawSox lineup that has been ripped apart due the Red Sox struggles and injuries but Stroman seemed upbeat and even remarked that Boston affiliates have hit him well before.

Stroman tore his knee on March 10th during fielding drills in Spring Training and began a long road to recovery. Knee injuries, most expect to take a full year but some have come back sooner, Adrian Peterson comes to mind of the Minnesota Vikings. Stroman even went back to class at Duke University to finish his degree while rehabbing.

The prolific Toronto offense is what comes to mind when most think of the Blue Jays but the pitching since the acquisition of David Price is what has been of note for the Jays. With all the moves the Blue Jays made this season it looks like they are going for it and Marcus Stroman will soon be back sooner than many thought.

Pat Light Spotless Early On For PawSox

Last week when Pat Light got the call-up the the PawSox from Portland, many expected, myself included him to take over the closer role for the PawSox. After all Light has been seen this season hitting 100 mph on his fast ball on the occasion and that is something that will miss bats in the late innings, especially in the minor leagues.

So far in two out of his three appearances with the PawSox he has collected saves, both Pat Lightcoming against Toledo during last weekends home stand at McCoy Stadium. His lone other appearance, coming Tuesday night in Charlotte wasn’t something to shy away from either as it only took him 8 pitches to get through the inning including a strike out.

Matt Barnes was recently optioned to the PawSox, after his free fall in last weekends series against the Blue Jays, and he can also bring the heat. Barnes, much like Light was a starter until this season and both could play huge dividends for future Red Sox teams out of the bullpen. Barnes and Light will likely split the closer duties for the PawSox with Heath Hembree and Robbie Ross now up with Boston.

There is no question about the talent of Light, as he was drafted in the first round, three years ago. It just took a little while for the Sox to find a good position for him. Trey Ball, 2013 first round pick is going through the same trouble. The goal for any pitcher starter or reliever is to miss bats and get outs. In his three appearances with the PawSox he has yet to allow a base runner in three innings of work while collecting 4 strikeouts.

Time will tell how long Pat Light can keep this streak going, but for a pitcher who had not appeared in a game above AA before this season, Light looks to be on the fast track to the big leagues.