Steven Wright and Tommy Layne are both out of options to be sent to Pawtucket. Will either make the Opening Day roster as a member of the bullpen or are they at risk of being DFA’d?
Max Sandgrund: These two are not competing for a spot and Layne has a much easier road to the final roster than Wright. The competition to be the second lefty in the bullpen, alongside Robbie Ross, is scarce and Layne held left-handed batters to a .148 BA last season, i.e. perfect specialist. As for Wright, he will be battling with Matt Barnes for that final spot. Given the fact Dombrowski likes hard-throwers, it should be Barnes who gets it.
Jorge: Wright can make the roster as a long reliever since he was successful at it last season. On the other hand, Layne is a lefty specialist. Last year opponents posted a .144 batting average when hitting from the left side, when hitting from the right side they had a .344 avg. Because of this both of them will make the roster, but one will be gone by the trade deadline.
Drew: You have to go with Layne, who is death on lefties (.455 career OPS against). With the depth that the Red Sox have in the bullpen this year he would be more of a specialist than ever.
Samantha: If both Layne and Wright perform consistently during spring training and there are no other breakout star relievers (*cough* Carlos Marmol), I could see both of them making the Opening Day roster. Since both are out of options and there are some other relievers who still have options, perhaps the Red Sox will give these two a chance to prove their stuff once again in the big leagues in 2016. Although, they will definitely be on short leashes. If I only had to choose one, I would have to go with Wright because of his versatility as both a reliever and a starting pitcher. These types of pitchers do come in handy from time to time, especially if the starting rotation is not performing well due to minor injuries or consecutive poor outings.
Brandon: Wright has a better chance than Tommy Layne, especially if the Red Sox do pick up another lefty reliever. Wright’s pitches are unique to the team, making him an option to throw hitters off of their game before they can get a bead on the ball. Wright’s time as a starter also means that he can be extended if needed, compared to Layne. Both are at risk if the starters get on track, especially early on.
Sean: The lack of minor league options will play a role in this decision. The unfortunate aspect of front office politics is that even if another pitcher outshines these two this spring, that breakout performer may be left off the roster if the Red Sox determine that Wright and Layne are too valuable to designate for assignment. Each brings a unique skill set to the table – Wright with his versatility to pitch in long relief and step into the rotation for spot starts if needed, while Layne can be a dominant lefty specialist. Both should make the Opening Day roster to avoid losing them, which could cost someone like Barnes a spot.
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