Saturday, April 4, 2009

Roster breakdown

The Red Sox will have to finalize their roster and make their last-minute moves on Sunday before the season begins; here's what to expect:

Starting pitchers (5): Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Brad Penny, Tim Wakefield.
Relief pitchers (7): Manny Delcarmen, Javier Lopez, Justin Masterson, Hideki Okajima, Jonathan Papelbon, Ramon Ramirez, Takashi Saito.
Catchers (2): George Kottaras, Jason Varitek.
Infielders (7): Chris Carter, Nick Green, Mike Lowell, Jed Lowrie, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis.
Outfielders (4): Rocco Baldelli, Jason Bay, J.D. Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury.

To the disabled list: Julio Lugo and Mark Kotsay both are likely to stay with the team through its West Coast road trip. After that, manager Terry Francona said, they'll probably head to Fort Myers (because it's warmer there than in Pawtucket) to begin their progression back to the active roster. John Smoltz also was placed on the disabled list; his target date is somewhere around June 1.

To Triple-A: Reliever Daniel Bard is leaving Citi Field for Pawtucket after the game; his goal, he said, is to make it in time to catch the second half of the North Carolina-Michigan State game. Starter Clay Buchholz officially was optioned to Triple-A on Saturday; he's well aware he's the next guy in line should the Red Sox need anyone. First baseman Jeff Bailey and journeyman outfielder Brad Wilkerson, who lost out to Chris Carter in the race for the final roster spot, likewise will head to Pawtucket.

To Double-A: Top prospect Lars Anderson will start the season with the Portland SeaDogs, but he won't necessarily stay there long if he hits the way he did a year ago. He hit .316 with a .436 on-base percentage and a .526 slugging percentage thanks to his 13 doubles and five home runs in 133 at-bats. Outfielder Josh Reddick, a free-swinging power hitter whose focus this year will be his patience at the plate, will join Anderson in Portland. Reliever Junichi Tazawa will begin the season in Portland as well, but if he's as sharp as he looked in spring training, the Red Sox might not leave him there.

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