With less than two days until the first pitch of the 2017 season, the Boston Red Sox roster has finally been set.
Ok, it’s not official yet, but this is as close as we’re going to get until they formally announce it. The Red Sox will have until Sunday, the day before Opening Day for those of you keeping track at home, to formally announce their roster. Barring something crazy, this is probably going to be it.
The obvious surprise on the roster is Ben Taylor. CSN New England’s Evan Drellich gets credit for breaking this story first. If you don’t recognize Taylor’s name immediately, you’re probably not alone. The 24-year old righty was a seventh-round pick out of South Alabama in 2015, split last season between Single-A and Double-A, combining for a 2.96 ERA with 98 strikeouts over 79 innings pitched.
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For a kid with just two years of professional baseball on his resume, he was a longshot to make the roster a month ago but capitalized on the opportunity at hand. Given the number of pitching-related health concerns that include David Price, Tyler Thornburg, and Drew Pomeranz, all of whom are starting the season on the DL, Taylor made the most of his chance.
"“He’s had a fantastic spring training,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He’s emerged year over year . . . he’s a quality strikeout performer in the minor leagues and he’s shown that here in camp, but what stood out to us was the mound presence and the poise that he showed.”"
In 13 innings this spring, he compiled a 3.46 ERA with 19 strikeouts and three walks. This is a big chance for him to impress management and put himself in a spot to be a regular call-up. With his addition, the final piece is in place to solidify the 25-man roster for the time being.
Bryce Brentz outrighted to AAA Pawtucket
Along with the news that the Red Sox Opening Day roster is in place, the club outrighted outfielder Bryce Brentz to make room on their 40-man. Without options or a spot on their major league roster, they had no choice but to expose him to waivers. I’m somewhat surprised that there wasn’t another team out there willing to give him a shot. He’s struggled with inconsistency and some underwhelming performances but there’s no denying that the raw power is something to keep an eye on.
For now, he will be stashed in AAA and add to the Red Sox’ outfield depth. With a permanent spot open on the 40-man roster, I would have to assume that Sam Travis is first in line to be added to it.
Carson Smith is also expected to be put on the 60-day DL which would open up another, albeit temporary, spot. Once that transaction is complete the Red Sox would have 38 players on their 40-man roster.