Red Sox 2023 Opening Day roster projection: Lineup, rotation, and bullpen
How Red Sox’ lineup, rotation, and bullpen could look in 2023 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Red Sox won’t be unrecognizable when they take the field for 2023 Opening Day, but they will take some getting used to.
Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts is off to the West Coast after signing an 11-year, $280 million contract with the San Diego Padres. Designated hitter J.D. Martinez is likely to leave in free agency. Left-handed reliever Matt Strahm has signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. Veteran pitchers Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Wacha, and Rich Hill remain on the open market.
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Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox front office made a handful of notable additions to the roster, but there’s more work to be done before next year’s campaign gets underway. Until then, here’s what Boston’s roster projects to look like when it takes the field on March 30.
(This post will be updated as moves are made leading into Opening Day.)
LF Masataka Yoshida
CF Kiké Hernandez
SS Trevor Story
RF Alex Verdugo
DH Eric Hosmer
1B Triston Casas
We can expect some changes here before the start of the 2023 season. Story is the favorite to replace Bogaerts at shortstop if no further moves are made, but Boston should still look to either sign Dansby Swanson or swing a trade that would allow Story to stick at second base.
The Red Sox could also add another outfielder, allowing newly-acquired Japanese star Masataka Yoshida to split time between outfield and designated hitter. That DH spot is likely to be a revolving door without J.D. Martinez.
1B Bobby Dalbec
Wong will split time behind the plate with Reese McGuire if the Red Sox don’t sign or trade for a catcher before Opening Day.
Dalbec reportedly was placed on the trading block this offseason, but he’ll serve as a backup first baseman/DH if he remains with the club. Refsnyder slots in as a solid fourth or fifth outfielder after being a pleasant surprise in 2022.
LHP Chris Sale
RHP Nick Pivetta
RHP Garrett Whitlock
RHP Tanner Houck
RHP Brayan Bello
LHP James Paxton
At this point, Sale cannot be counted on to anchor the staff even if he’s healthy. The Red Sox should be looking to add a reliable front-end starter before Opening Day. With most of the top free-agent options off the table, they’ll likely have to shift their attention to the trade market.
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Whitlock is slated to begin the season in the rotation, where he saw mixed results in 2022. Bello will look to take a step forward after showing flashes of his high upside as a rookie. Paxton has been plagued by injuries over the last couple of years and is far from a sure bet to make an impact.
LHP Joely Rodriguez
LHP Josh Taylor
RHP Ryan Brasier
RHP Matt Barnes
RHP John Schreiber
RHP Chris Martin
RHP Kenley Jansen
The Red Sox have made a concerted effort to improve their bullpen this offseason. They’ve signed southpaw Joely Rodriguez, veteran right-hander Chris Martin, and three-time All-Star closer Kenley Jansen. That’s a significant upgrade over last season when the back of the bullpen was a flat-out mess.
Ryan Brasier still having a spot on the depth chart is a bit of a head-scratcher. Boston should look to add another left-hander to the mix, then this unit will be complete.
Source: Yahoo Sports