Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tougher decisions await as Red Sox roster cuts begin

In the wake of the Red Sox’ first round of spring training roster cuts, the club is down to 46 players remaining in camp. For coaching staffs, each series of cuts has its share of tough decisions … but they’ll become much more difficult as opening day approaches for the magic number of 25 to be met.

As the Red Sox evaluate their playing personnel they, like every MLB team, will be limited to 25 players eligible to take the field on a given day (there is an exception for 26 players during double headers). The active roster, as it’s commonly called, comprises 25 players. It’s a list that will change frequently throughout the majority of the season often by the team moving players to and from its expanded, or 40-man, roster. The expanded roster gives teams a surplus of ready talent to call from quickly when needed.

According to MLB.com:

A Club’s 40-man roster is a list of all the players currently reserved by a Club at the Major League level. The Major League Rules permit each Club to reserve a maximum of 40 players (excluding players on the 60-day disabled list) at any one time. From September 1 through the end of the season the entire 40-man roster is eligible to play for the Club at the Major League level. From Opening Day through August 31, however, a Club may use only 25 of its 40 players in the Majors.

All 25 players on the active roster are also a part of the expanded roster. There are 15 additional major league ready players who round out the 40-man roster. Players are added or removed from one or both of these rosters throughout the season as needs arise. Commonly, this is done by adding or removing players from the (15-day) disabled list, acquiring or eliminating players through trade or free agency, and promoting or demoting players from minor league affiliates.

Though nothing changed with the recent player moves in camp, the Red Sox’ expanded roster likely will see some tweaks by the end of the month. As opening day approaches the team must determine which 25 players among these (and/or acquisitions in the interim) will complete the active roster to face the Baltimore Orioles March 31 at Camden Yards.

A typical 25-man roster includes 12 pitchers (five starters and seven relievers), two catchers, six infielders and five outfielders. Follow BoSox Injection daily for ongoing news and analysis of Red Sox roster moves and options as the team continues its spring training evaluations.

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Tags: 40-man Roster Boston Red Sox

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