Projecting the 2014 PawSox

To predict what is going to happen at the Triple-A level is close to impossible. Guessing who or who may not be on the roster is all predicated on what happens in Boston. Health issues happen, players need to fill in, options can be taken and trades happen.

But, on February 26th on the eve of Spring Training games beginning and not too many holes to fill in Boston, we’ve got a decent idea of who may, at least, start the season in Pawtucket.

Based on Pete Abraham’s prognostication in the Boston Globe yesterday, this is what the Red Sox may look like when camp breaks March 29th and the season begins March 31st in Baltimore.

The Starters
LHP Jon Lester
RHP Clay Buchholz
RHP John Lackey
RHP Jake Peavy
LHP Felix Doubront

The Bullpen
RHP Koji Uehara
RHP Junichi Tazawa
LHP Craig Breslow
LHP Andrew Miller
RHP Edward Mujica
RHP Burke Badenhop
LHP Chris Capuano

Catcher
A.J. Pierzynski
David Ross

DH
David Ortiz (no brainer)

Infield
1B Mike Napoli
2B Dustin Pedroia
SS Xander Bogaerts
3B Will Middlebrooks
UTIL Jonathan Herrera

Outfield
RF Shane Victorino
CF Jackie Bradley Jr.
LF Jonny Gomes
LF-RF-1B Daniel Nava
LF-1B Mike Carp

No Grady Sizemore listed here only because health is such a big question mark. He certainly could stay behind in Ft. Myers in the warmth to make sure he’s ready to go and start the season on the disabled list (meaning he could come to Pawtucket on a “rehab” assignment). Again, this is a projection from Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe…

What does it mean for the PawSox? Well, the pitching will be insanely good.

A couple names you may have notice omitted from Abraham’s pitching staff were Brandon Workman and Drake Britton. They’ll be stretched out in the spring and could begin the year as starters before contributing the Red Sox bullpen or starting rotation later in the season. But, based on the projection, both could start the year in Pawtucket.

The rest of the arms at new manager Kevin Boles’ disposal…
RHP Allen Webster
RHP Rubby De La Rosa
RHP Anthony Ranaudo
RHP Steven Wright (will be on the DL until May with sports hernia)
RHP Matt Barnes

That quintet right there, ALONE, is a staff of aces. With Britton and Workman added, that is a loaded staff with roles TBD.

Fans more than likely will see big league veterans in LHP Jose Mijares and RHP Francisco Cordero at the back end of the bullpen. More than likely RHP Brayan Villarreal will play a big role with his 96-100 MPH fastball and one of the players the Red Sox received from Detroit for SS Jose Iglesias. Also RHP Dalier Hinojosa, the Cuban 27-year-old signed in the offseason, should be in Pawtucket at some point. Again, not sure if he’ll be a starter or a reliever.

So the Bullpen, maybe
RHP Francisco Cordero
RHP Brayan Villarreal
LHP Jose Mijares
LHP Tommy Layne (FA, San Diego, 2013)
RHP Dalier Hinojosa
RHP Shunsuke Watanabe (FA, submarine style, Japan)
RHP Alex Wilson

I mean, really?! That entire pitching staff is loaded. Fireballers, specialty guys, situational arms…a glut of talent on the mound. And that doesn’t even count “gem of the system” Henry Owens who could be up with the PawSox at some point.

Onto the position players which is insanely difficult.

Catcher
Christian Vasquez
Dan Butler
C/1B Ryan Lavarnway

Infield
SS/2B/3B Brock Holt
3B/2B/OF Justin Henry
3B/1B Brandon Snyder
SS/2B Heiker Meneses
3B Garin Cecchini

Utility
Mike McCoy, plays all positions by P, C and 1B (FA, Toronto, 2013)

Outfield
Scott Cousins (Free Agent, LA Angels 2013)
Corey Brown (Waiver claim, Washington 2013)
Bryce Brentz
1B/OF Alex Hassan

Of course, this list of possible player is well over the roster limit of 25, BUT it’s not too far from who’ll be suiting up for the PawSox come Opening Night April 3rd.

To say that manager Kevin Boles and coaches Rich Sauveur, Dave Joppie and Bruce Crabbe will have great talent in 2014 might be the understatement of the year. This club has the potential to be one of the best and prospect rich teams in the PawSox history. Bold, yes, but not far from the truth.

The Red Sox begin games tomorrow against Northeastern and Boston College and the young arms will be on display.

Northeastern – Scheduled to pitch
Workman (2 innings)
Owens (2)
Noe Ramirez
Burke Badenhop

Boston College
De La Rosa (2)
Barnes (2)
Miguel Celestino
Tommy Layne
Alex Wilson

Friday, vs. Minnesota
Ranaudo (2)
Hinojosa (2)
Cordero
Andrew Miller

Saturday @ Minnesota
Webster (2)
Britton (2)
Villarreal
Mijares

Get ready…Baseball is here!

Jeff
@jlevering4
jlevering@pawsox.com

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