4 Red Sox who will make the 2024 Opening Day roster but won’t last the season

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There's a lot of room for change on an MLB roster. Players risk injury daily. A trade could occur at any given moment before the mid-summer deadline. A stint in the minors sometimes does a player good.

The Boston Red Sox — and all the other teams in the league — have a lot of work to do at spring training before Opening Day rosters are determined. And they're not always perfect.

There's next to no chance of creating a perfect roster that will go unchanged for 162 games. Yu Chang started the 2023 season as a utility player for the Sox and ended up back in the minors by the end of the slate. Tanner Houck left the squad for weeks after a baseball lacerated his cheek and fractured his face.

Fans may not think it possible now, but if the Red Sox are playoff contenders come the trade deadline the roster could change significantly. If they're not contenders, they could become sellers, and they'll have some great loaner options for teams in the race.

4 Red Sox who will make Opening Day roster but won’t last the season

Bobby Dalbec

Boston has remained confident that Bobby Dalbec could come in useful for the squad as he has before. In 2021, Dalbec hit 25 homers in 133 games, but he's never been able to replicate that production. His average in the bigs has decreased from .240 in 2021 to .215 in 2022 and it sank even lower in 2023. However his sample size of games was small last season.

Dalbec's best defensive spot is at first base, but Triston Casas has taken ownership of that position after his performance last season. The Sox also have many better bats than Dalbec. While he can swing for power, he strikes out a significant amount — his K percentages were in the bottom 2% of the league in 2021 and '22, according to Baseball Savant.

Dalbec may be banking on a utility role to keep him in the bigs this year, but Enmanuel Valdez and Pablo Reyes fared better than he in said role in 2023. Alex Cora has offered his praise for Dalbec after he spent most of last year's campaign in Worcester, but that alone won't keep him in the majors.