With just hours to spare, the Red Sox have finally announced their ALDS roster ahead of Game 1 against the Houston Astros.
The Boston Red Sox have revealed the 25-man roster that they will be going with for the American League Division Series against the Houston Astros.
There’s plenty to take away from this group, but here’s what peaked my interest at first glace.
Rajai Davis over Chris Young:
Farrell, in my eyes, made the best possible move here by going without Chris Young in this series. By leaving Young off this roster and going with Rajai Davis, you get speed off the bench in the late innings and a strong defensive replacement in the event of an injury or defensive change.
No Chris Young tells me the Red Sox feel confident in the health of Eduardo Nunez. By leaving Young off the roster it shows they think Nunez can hold up over the course of the five-game set, meaning they wouldn’t need Young to DH or pinch-hit against lefties.
Lastly, by going with Brock Holt over Young, it tells me that Farrell and his staff are placing a value on versatility off the bench.
This isn’t to say Young isn’t a fine player. While he’s struggled to play up to his lefty-mashing abilities this season, he’s still a very good fourth outfielder to have at your disposal. However, with Holt, Davis, and Nunez being able to fill his role while also coming off the bench to provide value at other positions, Young’s skill set wouldn’t be needed for this series.
Fister, Porcello, and E-Rod all included:
I’m in all honesty quite shocked that Farrell chose to stick with all three of these players on his roster. It tells us that he hasn’t quite figured out who will be going in Game 3 after Drew Pomeranz, but also that he wants the versatility they can provide out of the bullpen in the event a “piggyback” start is needed out of them.
While I would prefer to have Eduardo Rodriguez get the call in Game 3, it does bring me comfort Farrell has built in some insurance in the event that any starter who falters can be relieved quickly by another pitcher for multiple innings. For as well as the AL Wild Card game went for the Yankees, I’m not sure I want multiple relievers pitching over eight innings in any one game.
No Loogy in the bullpen:
Lastly, what caught my eye after these two previous points is the fact that outside of David Price and possibly Rodriguez, there’s no true left-handed reliever in the Red Sox bullpen.
While Robby Scott was quite effective against left-handed batters this year, holding them to a .527 OPS, the only true left-handed regular in Houston’s lineup is Josh Reddick. With Price and others at his disposal, I’m not sure Farrell would have wanted to waste a roster spot on one pitcher for just one opposing player.
However this series happens to shape out, we should feel very confident in the roster the Red Sox are going with here. Hopefully, once the dust settles, this group will be ready for the next go round.