Red Sox Opening Day roster projection 2.0: Giolito, Grissom injuries shake things up

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Opening Day is just weeks away, and days ago the Boston Red Sox were feeling confident about the team's progress.

Since then, multiple injuries have come up that have derailed Boston's momentum. Lucas Giolito likely needs season-ending surgery and Vaughn Grissom has a groin strain that will keep him sidelined past Opening Day.

Now, there's a second starting rotation spot available and no true starting pitchers to occupy it. Polishing up the Red Sox rotation has gotten twice as difficult in Giolito's absence.

Boston has plenty of infield talent to play second in Grissom's stead, but that's precisely its issue. The Red Sox need to decide which of their infield prospects will start.

There is still plenty of spring training left for Boston's coaches to make these decisions. And there's still time to sign additional talent to fill in the gaps. But for now, it looks like the Red Sox are going to try and work with what they already have.

Red Sox Opening Day roster projection 2.0: Lucas Giolito, Vaughn Grissom injuries shake things up

Red Sox Opening Day starting rotation:

  • Brayan Bello
  • Nick Pivetta
  • Kutter Crawford
  • Tanner Houck
  • Cooper Criswell

Bello is the only given in the starting rotation as he's the lone bonafide starter on Boston's staff. Nick Pivetta and Kutter Crawford both performed well for the Sox last season and they're the next-best choices behind Bello and Giolito, who is likely to be out for the season.

Tanner Houck has 41 starts worth of experience under his belt and he's upped his velocity this offseason. Houck is also focusing on throwing more strikes, which will always benefit the Red Sox and their shoddy defense. All the changes Houck has made to his game make him one of the better fits for the rotation than his other starter/reliever counterparts.

Chief baseball officer Craig Breslow recently stated that Cooper Criswell is also making a case for a starting spot. He has starting pitching experience from his days with Triple-A Durham and he's a consistent strike-thrower.