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Legends On Deck

2015 Boston Red Sox Season Preview

The 2015 Boston Red Sox attempt another worst to first finish beginning at 3:05 PM today when they oppose the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Clay Buchholz faces a pitcher many had thought would be Boston’s opening day starter, Cole Hamels. Here is a position by position preview of this year’s Sox squad:

Starting Pitchers:

Clay Buchholz – Boston’s defacto ace….When a scout was asked this spring if Buchholz was a #1 or # 2 starter, the scout replied “he’s a zero” . He’s the Red Sox number one for now, though. Six trips to the disabled list in seven years, but also three double digit victory seasons including a 17-7 mark in 2010, a World Series win in 2013 and a no hitter in his rookie year of 2007, one of only eight complete games in his career.

Rick Porcello– acquired from the Detroit Tigers in the Yoenis Cespedes trade, Porcello won 15 games for Detroit last season including three complete game shutouts.

Wade Miley – acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks, Miley went 16-11 in 2012 and 10-10 in 2013. and has won 34 games over his three full major league seasons.

Justin Masterson – Originally drafted by Boston in June of 2006, Masterson was reacquired in the offseason signing as a free agent in December. He won 14 games for Cleveland in 2013.

Steven Wright– The knuckleballer, not the comedian. Has made 10 starts over the last two seasons for the Red Sox after a trade with the Indians for former number one pick Lars Anderson landed Wright in Boston.

Joe Kelly– starting the 2015 season on the Disabled List.

Organizational Depth:

Henry Owens, Brian Johnson, Matt Barnes, Eduardo Rodriguez, Brandon Workman, Miguel Celestino, Keith Couch, Noe Ramirez, Mike McCarthy, Ty Buttrey.

The Bullpen:

Edward Mujica – Former Cardinals righty opens the season as Boston’s closer

Junichi Tazawa– 7th season in the Red Sox organization, may be looked at as a closer if Mujica falters in that role.

Craig Breslow– pitched in 60 games for Boston last season as a lefty specialist.

Tommy Layne– another lefty specialist. Posted an 0.95 ERA in 30 games for the Red Sox in 2014.

Alexi Ogando– acquired from Texas, the righty can start or relieve.

Robbie Ross, Jr. – acquired from Texas, the lefty can start or relieve.

Anthony Varvaro– not acquired from Texas (LOL) , he came from the Braves where he pitched in 123 games over the last two seasons.

Koji Uehara– Beloved Red Sox closer opens the season on the Disabled List.

Edwin Escobar– opens the year on the DL as well.

Organizational Depth:

Heath Hembree, Dalier Hinojosa, Zeke Spruill, Kyle Kraus,  Robby Scott, Jonathan Aro, Austin Maddox.

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Ryan Hanigan (Photo: Gabe Rodriguez/Legends on Deck)

Catchers:

Ryan Hanigan– acquired from Tampa Bay where he hit 5 home runs last season. Native of Andover, MA.

Sandy Leon– newest member of the Red Sox, came over from the Washington Nationals in the last week of spring training.

Christian Vazquez– Boston’s starting catcher opens the year on the disabled list after undergoing Tommy John surgery and likely will miss the 2015 season.

Organizational Depth:

Blake Swihart, Humberto Quintero, Matt Spring, Luke Montz, Jordan Weems, Carlos Coste, Danny Bethea.

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Dustin Pedroia (Photo:  Gabe Rodriguez/Legends on Deck)

 

Infielders:

Mike Napoli – hit seven home runs in spring training and cleared up a medical issue in the offseason.

David Ortiz– first base today in Philly, usually the DH, attempts to defy Papi Time once again.

Dustin Pedroia– underwent wrist surgery last September, hopes to reignite the laser show.

Xander Bogaerts– firmly entrenched as the starting shortstop this season.

Pablo Sandoval– Kung Fu Panda led the San Francisco Giants to three World Series championships in six years.

Brock Holt– versatile infielder acquired last season from Pittsburgh plays all around the infield, outfield and could even catch a few innings if need be.

Organizational Depth:

Jeff Bianchi, Garin Cecchini, Sean Coyle, Travis Shaw, Jemile Weeks, Deven Marrero, Yoan Moncada, David Chester, Jonathan Roof, Mike Miller, Michael Martinez, Jantzen Witte, Reed Gragnani, Jose Vinicio, Wendell Rijo, Michael Chavis.

 

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Mookie Betts (Photo: Gabe Rodriguez/Legends on Deck)

 

Outfielders:

Mookie Betts – had a tremendous spring, earning comparisons to the Pirates Andrew McCutchen. Came up as an infielder but has made the transition and will start in center field.

Hanley Ramirez– former Red Sox shortstop prospect returns as a bulked-up left fielder after a checkered major league career with the Marlins and Dodgers.

Shane Victorino– starts in right field against his former team on opening day. Hopes the injuries which have set him back are behind him.

Daniel Nava– can play all three outfield positions and first base.

Allen Craig– acquired from St. Louis last season and the subject of trade talks all spring. Plays first base and both corner outfield positions.

Organizational Depth:

Jackie Bradley Jr., Rusney Castillo, Bryce Brentz, Quintin Berry, Henry Ramos, Joseph Monge, Aneury Tavarez, Manuel Margot, Forrest Allday, Cole Sturgeon, Danny Mars.

Brian Mullen

Brian is a Boston native and art school student who took a summer job with a baseball team and never left. He has been employed by the Boston Red Sox in one capacity or another since 1982. He also follows and blogs college basketball. Follow him on Twitter @BostonBrian2015