Ok, so now that we have the official day that the Divison Series begins, I figured it'd be the perfect time to post my Red Sox Playoff Roster. With so much shuffling going on and injuries surfacing, this team of 25 doesn't look as strong as it did two weeks ago. Without further ado, here's the roster and why I picked who I did...
Starting Pitchers: Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz and Dice-K Matsuzaka (4)
Relief Pitchers: Jonathan Papelbon, Daniel Bard, Billy Wagner, Hideki Okajima, Ramon Ramirez, Takashi Saito and Paul Byrd (7)
Infielders: Mike Lowell, Alex Gonzalez, Jed Lowrie, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis and Casey Kotchman (6)
Outfielders: Jason Bay, Jacoby Ellsbury, JD Drew, Rocco Baldelli and Joey Gathright (5)
Catchers: Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek (2)
DH: David Ortiz (1)
Here's my thoughts...On the pitching staff I went with four starters because I don't think Tito will put Jon Lester in the position of coming back on three days rest, even if it means the season. The bullpen is pretty cut and dry. The final spot was between Paul Byrd and Manny Delcarmen, but with Delcarmen's car accident and recent downfall I decided to go with Byrd. Byrd will be the long man in case one of the first three guys blow up.
With the outfield rotation, I'm hoping Rocco is healthy enough to be counted on. The fact that he's day-to-day after the MRI gives me cautious optimism. If he can't make it, then expect a righty off the bench who can play all three spots, Brian Anderson. Joey Gathright rounds it out due to his speed. I first was thinking Josh Reddick when I began looking at the roster a week or so ago, but changed my mind due to the experience factor. Gathright = Dave Roberts in '04.
The final tough decision I had to make was the utility infield merry go round. Am I comfortable with Lowrie? No. But, to be honest, he wins by default. Nick Green has crazy leg or lazy leg, whatever the hell's going on with him due to his back. Chris Woodward has been down in Tampa with his family due to some difficulties with his wife's pregnancy. Suffice to say, Lowrie's the only guy available. If his wrist hurts, let's just hope he can make a play in the field if called upon. Youkilis' versatility by the way, plays a key role here. As long as Gonzalez and Pedroia stay healthy, Tito can sub Lowell and make his defense much better going into the ninth by moving Youk to third and Kotchman to first.
Well, that's it. We'll find out tomorrow who can go and who can't. What do you think?
Nick Cattles, Producer