Red Sox: Predicting the 2018 Opening Day 25-man roster
By Sean Penney
Mitch Moreland, Hanley Ramirez, Eduardo Nunez, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Deven Marrero
Moreland will platoon at first base with Ramirez. With Dustin Pedroia expected to start the season on the disabled list, Nunez will get the first crack at covering second base. Bogaerts and Devers will cover the left side of the infield.
Marrero should earn a spot as a utility infielder off the bench. He’s out of minor league options so the Red Sox can’t send him to Pawtucket without exposing him to waivers. That gives him a leg up on Tzu-Wei Lin and the injured Marco Hernandez. Marrero provides a solid glove at several positions and may be counted on to help hold late leads given the questionable defense of a few Red Sox infielders. Swihart will also factor in as a utility infielder, although his value comes from his bat rather than his glove.
Brock Holt is a tough omission given the value he’s provided in the past. He’s coming off essentially a lost season that puts him behind these other infielders on the depth chart. The absence of Pedroia to start the season may create an opening but it would mean carrying one less reliever. A deeper bullpen seems more important than an extra utility player, while Pedroia’s eventual return would make the bench even more crowded.