Lee and Jesse Play Name Those Sox – Part 1

As March begins, Lee and Jesse – the resident Red Sox Fans here at I-95 – decided to try and pick the 25 man roster that the Red Sox will break camp with this season. Thrilling – we know. Here is the resulting back-and-forth:

From: Jesse Martineau
To: Lee Lubarsky
Subject: Red Sox starting 25
Starting position players
I will start with the starting 9.  And, to make things even more impressive, I will attempt to put them in the original batting order.
The entire wild card here, of course, is Crawford.  The Red Sox 1st 5 should be Ells, Petey, Gonzo, Youk, and Papi – in that order.  After all, that is the order that had the Sox score more runs than anyone last year.  So, clearly that line-up works.
However, should Bobby V. actually post that line-up for the first game, Crawford will start crying uncontrollably and will have to be coaxed out of the locker room.  And since we can’t have another season where Crawford is absolutely horrendous (seriously, Jason Stark ran the numbers, and Crawford had the worst season of a Red Sox starting outfielder EVER.  How amazing is that?  He was worse than Darren Lewis’ wost year.  Or Darnell McDonald.  Or anyone!)
So, because Carl is a Captain Sensitive, we need to make him hit #2.  Which fucks up everything else, but still needs to happen.  (Note: I am making the assumption that Carl will be healthy for opening day.  He is already hitting, so I’m guessing he may be ready.  If he is not, all the easier.)
So, my projected starting line-up:
1.) Ellsbury, CF
2.) Captain Sensitive, LF
3.) Petey, 2B
4.) Gonzo, 1B
5.) Greek (Jewish) God of Walks, 3B
6.) Papi, DH
7.) Salty, C
8.) Ross, RF
9.) Aviles, SS
(Quick aside: I am beyond thrilled to be pencilling in a guy who, only last year, couldn’t hack it as the fucking Royals utility man as the opening day shortstop.)
This now brings us to the bench.  Here are the guys that I think are a lock to be on the bench:
INF- Punto
OF- Sweeney
C- Shoppach
Guy I think is most likely to be the final guy on the bench:
OF- McDonald
I actually think McDonald is a solid final player on the roster.  Plays capable defense in every OF position.  Can pinch run (overlooking how he ran us out of a couple of games last year).   Seems like a likable guy.  Can’t hit for shit.
Others I can conceivably see making the team:
C- Lavarnway
It is tough to keep 3 catchers.  But he is probably major league ready, at least as an offensive player.  Would be the best right handed hitter off the bench.  But, considering Papi doesn’t like being benched, and that they already have 2 other catchers, I don’t see how he plays.
UTL- Nate Spears
I actually am going to make Nate Spears my pick to be on the 25 if Crawford can’t go on opening day.  He had a cup of coffee with the big boys last year, and the people in the organization seem to really like his professionalism.  He can also play pretty much every position besides pitching and catching.  The big problem is that Spears is not on the 40 man roster, so they’d need to make a roster move.  But I think they would probably just move Rich Hill to the 60 day DL.
OK, I’ll start with the starting pitchers, in rotation order:
1.) Lester
2.) Chicken Eatin’ Texan
3.) Computer stealer
4.) Bard
5.) (more on this later)
I think the top 4 are pretty straightforward.  Feeling pretty confident about the order as well.
Guys who will definitely be in the pen:
Bailey (will close)
Melancon (primary set-up man)
Morales (best lefty option)
Albers (was real good last year until his arm fell off due to overuse caused by the fact the rest of the pen was terrible)
Guy who will definitely make the team, though role is still up for grabs:
I think the Sox clearly want this guy to be in the pen, because he was ridiculously valuable there last year.  That being said, if all the other 5th starter options prove to be terrible – a very real possibility – they may have to start him right off the bat.
Guys who I am pretty sure will make the team, though also not sure if they will start or come out of the pen:
Doubront/ Miller
Both of these guys have the same story.  They are both lefties.  Both were thought to be top prospects at one point in their lives.  Both also have yet to prove they don’t suck as major league pitchers.  Fortunately for them, both are also out of options, and the Sox don’t seem to want to give up on either yet.  So, unless either has an ERA of about 100 this spring, I see both on the team.  Best case scenario for the Sox, one of these guys starts.  That would make NH Ben’s wildest dreams come true.
This leaves 2 possibilities.  Situation 1 is if one of Aceves, Doubront, or Miller start.  Situation 2 is if the Sox really want to keep Acevez in the pen and Doubront and Miller use this spring to confirm they suck.
If situation 1 is a reality, there are a number of options for the final bullpen spot:
He was also once thought of as a major prospect… now, not so much.  He is also out of options.  Seems that the Sox have given up on him starting, but they may not want to let him go altogether.  That being said, he kinda sucks.
Chris Carpenter
Might be kept just so the Sox brass don’t have to admit they let go of a top class GM for a minor league middle reliever.
Clayton Mortensen
Might be kept just so Sox brass don’t have to admit they traded their starting shortstop for a minor league middle reliever.
Jesse Carlson
Former NH Fisher Cat makes him a personal favorite.  Can actually be a serviceable LOOGY.  But, considering I already have 3 LHP in the Sox pen, I don’t think another LOOGY is necessary.
Scott Atchinson
Also a serviceable option, but signed to a minor league deal.  If he was competing on an even playing field with Miller, Dubront, and Bowden, I bet he makes the team.  That said, he is the only one that doesn’t have to pass waivers, so he starts in Rhode Island.
Ross Ohlendorf
Has a funny name.
Padilla Flotilla
I somehow see him making this team.  More on this below.
If situation 2 is reality, there are a number of options for that final starting spot:
Aaron Cook
The new pitching coach loves him, so that should count for something.  Unfortunately, he can’t pitch.
Carlos Silva
Used to be good.  Unfortunately, he attends the El Guapo school of conditioning.  Rumors he only signed with the Sox for the free chicken and beer and now might be looking to get out of his contract.
Padilla Flotilla
Seems mental.  Completely mental.  But also seems to be the kind of guy that can impress in very small amounts… say, over the course of a spring.  Come the heart of the season, nobody will have any idea what you will get on a day-to-day basis, in a Dice-K kind of way.  He is almost guaranteed to drive me crazy, which is why he is guaranteed to make the team.
My prediction:
The final starting spot goes to Padilla.  Doubront and Miller move to the pen.  Bowden gets cut, doesn’t clear waivers, and starts for some garbage team, such as Houston.

Lee’s Response to come in Part II


About Lee Lubarsky
I'm just a PR professional trying to find a good work/life/sports balance.

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