This has to be Bobby Dalbec’s last chance with the Red Sox

2024 Dominican Republic Series - Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays
2024 Dominican Republic Series - Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays / Bryan M. Bennett/GettyImages

Bobby Dalbec has been on Red Sox roster life support for quite a while. This season, he managed to dodge the roster-cut bullet and earn a job in the major leagues. If Dalbec took up skydiving and his chute failed to open, he'd land in a haystack and walk away.

Dalbec is physically built like a linebacker and has the perpetual hope of management and a zealous fan base that he will provide that lusty right-hand bat so coveted since the construction of that tantalizing green barrier in left field.

In 2020, Dalbec provided just what the folks wished for, slashing .263/.359/.600 with eight home runs in 23 games. What was frustrating was the lack of contact, as Dalbec whiffed at 42.4%.

In 2021, Dalbec got the first base job and some reps at third. The bombs were there, as he logged 25 on the season, but so were the busts. Dalbec posted an astonishing 156 strikeouts versus a minuscule 28 walks. The following season, the slide continued, and in 2023, the Sox had Dalbec in the minors for the vast majority of the season.

Against all odds, Bobby Dalbec has made the Red Sox Opening Day roster

Triston Casas was the new hope at first base. After a rough start, Casas settled in, and so did rumors about Dalbec's possible trade. Meanwhile, the WooSox had Dalbec, and he produced 33 home runs and 169 punchouts. Then Casas went down and back came Dalbec for a September appearance, and it was more of the same — he batted .204 and collected a pile of K's.

Why is this guy on the roster? Dalbec should be Michael Chavis, part II — Boston should've traded him while it had the chance. The Red Sox also dredged up another right-handed former slugger inC. J. Cron to avoid having to bring Dalbec back.

But Dalbec is on the roster as the season opens, and Cron is gone. Has Dalbec made an arrangement with Mr. Applegate from "Damn Yankees?" The reality is that Dalbec brings more options to the table than Cron, including one minor league option that remains.

Dalbec hits lefties to a .273 tune, and with Casas swinging from the left side, that opens up a nice combo. Casas also has versatility and can play third, so if Rafael Devers needs a break (translation: if there's a tough lefty on the mound), then Dalbec can step in.

Dalbec will either play himself back to Worcester — he's good at that — get traded or find himself as that bat off the bench in just the right situation. One thing is certain: Dalbec is an amazing roster survivor.

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