Red Sox 2023 opening day roster projection: lineup, rotation and bullpen

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What the Red Sox lineup, rotation and bullpen could look like in 2023 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Red Sox won’t be unrecognizable when they take the field for Opening Day 2023, but they’ll take some getting used to.

Star short stop Xander Bogaerts heads to the West Coast after signing an 11-year, $280 million contract with the San Diego Padres. Designated hitter JD Martinez and righthander Nathan Eovaldi signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers, respectively. Lefthanded reliever Matt Strahm has signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. Veteran left-hander Rich Hill joined the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox front office have made a handful of noteworthy additions to the roster, but there’s more work to be done before next year’s campaign kicks off. Until then, here’s what Boston’s roster projects will look like when it takes the field on March 30.

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(This post will be updated as moves are made leading up to opening day.)

Queue

  1. L. F. Masataka Yoshida

  2. SS Kike Hernandez

  3. 3B Raphael Devers

  4. DH Justin Turner

  5. 1B Triston Casas

  6. CF Adam Duvall

  7. RF Alex Verdugo

  8. 2B Christian Arroyo

  9. C Reese McGuire

Trevor Story will miss time after elbow surgery. That makes the situation in midfield even more dire after Bogaerts’ departure. According to Alex Speier of The Boston Globe, manager Alex Cora said there have been “more conversations”. about Hernandez taking over at shortstop, a scenario that seems more likely after Boston signed a deal with outfielder Adam Duvall, who will likely perform midfield duties.

Still, before Opening Day, the Red Sox could benefit from additional help in the middle of the field.

Bank

CConnor Wong

1BBobby Dalbec

BY Rob Refsnyder

2B/SS Adalberto Mondesi

Wong will share time behind the plate with Reese McGuire if the Red Sox don’t sign or trade a catcher for Opening Day.

Dalbec was reportedly placed on the trading bloc this offseason, but will serve as backup first baseman/DH if he stays with the club. Refsnyder fits in as a solid fourth or fifth outfielder after being a pleasant surprise in 2022. The oft-injured Mondesi should split time at second base with Arroyo when healthy and can replace Hernandez at shortstop if needed.

Start rotation

LHP Chris Sales

RHP Nick Pivetta

R. H. P. Garrett Whitlock

RHP Corey Kluber

R. H. P. Brayan Bello

L. H. P. James Paxton

Right now, Sale can’t be counted on to anchor the workforce, even though he’s healthy. The addition of Kluber brings much-needed depth to the rotation, but the absence of a reliable No. 1 starter is conspicuous. Lots of “what ifs” in this group.

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Whitlock is scheduled to start the season in the rotation, where he saw mixed results in 2022. Bello will try to take a step forward after showing flashes of his high side as a rookie. Paxton has been plagued with injuries in recent years and is far from certain to impress.

Bullpen

LHP Joely Rodriguez

RHP Ryan Brassier

R. H. P. Tanner Houck

R. H. P. Kutter Crawford

RHP John Schreiber

RHP Chris Martin

RHP Kenley Jansen

The Red Sox have made a concerted effort to improve their bullpen this offseason. They have signed left-hander Joely Rodriguez, veteran right-hander Chris Martin and three-time All-Star closer Kenley Jansen. That’s a significant improvement from last season when the back of the bullpen was a mess.

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