Boston Red Sox: Predicting the 2030 Opening Day Roster

FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - MARCH 14: Triston Casas #94 of the Boston Red Sox at bat against the Minnesota Twins during a Grapefruit League spring training game at Hammond Stadium on March 14, 2021 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA - MARCH 14: Triston Casas #94 of the Boston Red Sox at bat against the Minnesota Twins during a Grapefruit League spring training game at Hammond Stadium on March 14, 2021 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
3 of 6
red sox
PORTLAND, ME – MAY 27: Durbin Feltman #12 of the Portland Sea Dogs delivers in the ninth inning of the game between the Portland Sea Dogs and the Altoona Curve at Hadlock Field on May 27, 2019 in Portland, Maine. (Photo by Zachary Roy/Getty Images) /

Red Sox Relief Pitchers

Relief pitching has been a bit of an issue in Boston for a few years now. They have had serious troubles when it comes to consistency. Most importantly they haven’t been able to figure out the closing pitcher role for a little while. They have the tools in their minors to make everything work though.

Tanner Houck

This one was tough because Tanner Houck has nasty stuff and has already shown he can work in the starting rotation. However, he’s had his struggles there too and has been inconsistent when it comes to getting through a bunch of innings.

Boston doesn’t seem 100% sold on where they want to put him either. Due to that, the bullpen just feels like the safe option. At this point he would 33 heading into the season and could be established as a dominant bullpen arm.

Let him come out for an inning and look absolutely untouchable. Could be fun if he keeps the walks down. The right-hander would have the ability to eat a few innings if needed too, which is always great to have that flexibility.

Brandon Walter

Another pitcher that could definitely be a starter but we’re putting in the bullpen here. Brandon Walter will also be 33 to start 2030. The left-handed pitcher has worked as both a reliever and a starter in the minors. But the Red Sox should be fine in the starter department so why not have some strikeout machines in the bullpen.

Walter has great command and some nasty pitches. He won’t give up a lot of baserunners either so might actually be a high-leverage type of arm.

Joan Martinez

Joan Martinez was awesome in Double-A this season. After starting the year with some issues and command problems, the right-hander put it all together. He ended up walking just six batters in the final three months of the season and finished with a ridiculous .180 BAA. Clearly he has the stuff to produce weak contact and a lot of strikeouts.

Martinez will also be 33 to start 2030. His role might be a little more undefined, but Boston will certainly get a lot of use out of him.

Jeremy Wu-Yelland

Jeremy Wu-Yelland was used solely as a starter in his first year in the minors in 2021. The left-handed pitcher had some major walk problems though and sometimes struggled to get through even a handful of innings.

With that in mind, a move to the bullpen might not be a bad idea for his future. There’s major potential and he has some great strikeout stuff when he’s on. He’ll be just 30 at the start of the 2030 season and could be somewhat of a wildcard. Will produce a lot of dominant outings but might get into trouble with his walks every once in a while.

Darwinzon Hernandez

Yes, some fans aren’t the biggest Darwinzon Hernandez supporters. However, he still produces very well. And don’t forget he’s only 24. He’ll be 33 for the 2030 season and has already shown us what he’s about.

The left-handed pitcher will pick up plenty of strikeouts and is not easy to hit at all. However, he gets wild at times and this is what leads to him struggling at times. Hernandez is still young though and could very well iron that out as he matures. 3.66 ERA and .210 BAA in his career at the moment, that’s really good. Could be a piece for a long time.

Wyatt Olds

Wyatt Olds is a name that not all Red Sox fans might not know right now. That’s because the right-handed pitcher was a seventh-round pick in this years draft. So if you tuned out after the first round or two, you might not have caught him.

Olds has a lot going for him though and will be just 30 to start the 2030 season. In 12 innings in his first season in the organization, Olds definitely flashed a lot of potential and became someone that I’m very excited to watch grow.

Not enough on him to give him a major role though. So he’ll be the extra reliever in this scenario. The guy that doesn’t seem to be used in high-leverage situations ever but still gets plenty of work and does a solid job.

Garrett Whitlock

I know there is a lot of talk about Boston moving Garrett Whitlock to the starting rotation. And that could absolutely be the case. I think in this scenario though they already have a lot of options in the rotation. And after watching the right-hander utterly dominate in his rookie season I couldn’t justify taking the risk of moving him around.

Whitlock will be 33 at the start of the 2030 season and will be the highest-leverage reliever that isn’t the closer. He’ll be able to work two innings if needed and could be just an unfair advantage for a long time.

Durbin Feltman

The reason I didn’t have Whitlock closing is because of this man. The hype surrounding Durbin Feltman certainly has died down thanks to a poor showing in 2019 and then 2020 being a year off. But 2021 was incredible and I’m amazed it didn’t bring back the “closer of the future” hype-train.

The right-handed pitcher has it all. Nasty pitches, keeps the walks down, and creates weak contact.

Feltman will be the anchor for the Red Sox bullpen for a while. He’ll be 33 to start the year and at that point will be well established as an elite closer.