After an extended and largely uneventful offseason, spring coaching is formally right here.
The Red Sox formally open camp in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday, kicking off a six-week marathon because the membership ramps up preparations for the 2024 marketing campaign. Though some last-minute signings are all the time a risk, we roughly know what this yr’s staff goes to seem like. Now, the query is that if sufficient of the membership’s youthful gamers are able to take the form of leap ahead it’s going to take for Boston to compete in a loaded American League East.
So as camp formally opens within the coming days, right here is all the pieces you have to know concerning the Red Sox this spring.
Spring coaching formally kicks off Wednesday when pitchers and catchers report for his or her first exercise. The first full squad exercise will comply with subsequent week on Monday, and the primary exhibition sport will likely be subsequent Friday (Feb. 23) in opposition to Northeastern University.
From there the Grapefruit League schedule will kick off subsequent Saturday (Feb. 24) in opposition to Baltimore in Sarasota, and the Red Sox will play almost each day for the next month. Among the highlights of the spring coaching slate are the two-game collection in opposition to Tampa Bay within the Dominican Republic (March 9-10), the Spring Breakout prospect showcase at JetBlue Park on March 16, and as soon as camp breaks the Red Sox will play their final two spring coaching video games at Texas’ Globe Life Field (March 25-26) on their means west for the season opener in Seattle (March 28).
Position battles to observe
Most of the Red Sox beginning lineup is already set in stone, however there are a handful of place battles to keep watch over because the spring progresses.
The greatest is who will declare the final spot within the beginning rotation. Right now, Brayan Bello, Lucas Giolito, Nick Pivetta and Kutter Crawford are projected to be in, leaving Garrett Whitlock, Tanner Houck, Josh Winckowski and Cooper Criswell to battle for the remaining spot. Unless the Red Sox make a late signing (Jordan Montgomery?) a type of 4 ought to win the ultimate spot whereas the others begin the season within the bullpen.
Most of the Red Sox bullpen additionally seems set, however there will likely be fierce competitors for the final spot. Justin Slaten appears to be like to have the within observe as a Rule 5 decide, however Isaiah Campbell and Greg Weissert each have latest massive league expertise and had been acquired this offseason in trades, and incumbents like Zack Kelly, Chris Murphy, Brandon Walter, Joe Jacques and Bryan Mata ought to all think about as nicely.
On the place participant aspect, there must be a aggressive battle for the first utility spot off the bench. Pablo Reyes and new signee Romy Gonzalez must be the favorites, although prospects Enmanuel Valdez and David Hamilton will get a glance as nicely. The X-factor is Ceddanne Rafaela, who has by far the best upside however who is likely to be higher served getting common at-bats at Triple-A, slightly than inconsistent taking part in break day the bench.
To the extent there will likely be competitors among the many projected starters, it will likely be price watching how Masataka Yoshida and Tyler O’Neill are utilized. Will Yoshida largely function a chosen hitter? Will O’Neill be an on a regular basis participant or will he wind up platooning with the left-handed hitting Jarren Duran and Wilyer Abreu? Is Abreu actually in line to function Boston’s common right-fielder, because the membership’s prime decision-makers have steered all through the offseason? We ought to get a clearer sense because the spring goes on.
Non-roster invitees to observe
With the addition of left-hander Lucas Luetge, the Red Sox will start spring coaching with 24 non-roster invitees.
A former Yankees left-hander, Luetge is one in all 11 pitchers hoping to make a superb impression in Fort Myers. There’s additionally former Colorado Rockies minor leaguer Helcris Olivarez, who provides strikeout potential, however has struggled with command all through his profession.
Former Boston bullpen arm – albeit briefly – Frank German is again as nicely, after a whirlwind tour of a number of organizations. After being named the group’s minor league Relief Pitcher of the Year for 2022, German has been traded to the White Sox final February, claimed by the Cincinnati Reds in May, and launched in July. He re-signed with the Red Sox on a minor-league deal later that month.
Luis Guerrero is likely one of the most intriguing arms within the group. He posted a 1.81 ERA over 43 appearances for Double-A final yr, together with 34 video games completed and 18 saves. It earned him a promotion to Triple-A, the place he allowed 4 earned runs on 4 hits over six appearances (three scoreless) earlier than season’s finish. Though the Sox bullpen already has loads of righties, Guerrero might be checked out as a possible nearer choice within the close to future, particularly if a Kenley Jansen commerce finally ends up taking place.
It’s the start of what must be an enormous yr for Nick Yorke. The 21-year-old infielder already earned a spot on the group’s annual Rookie Development Program final month, and is now a non-roster invite to Major League camp. He had a strong season in Double-A, hitting .268 with a .785 OPS over 110 video games, however with a reasonably set Boston infield, it’ll be attention-grabbing to see what his future holds. Likewise for infielder Chase Meidroth, who’s solely been within the group for 2 years, however rose from rookie ball to Double-A in that span.
There’s additionally catcher Nathan Hickey, who’s climbing the ranks concurrently the group’s 2023 first-round decide, fellow backstop Kyle Teel. Hickey is joined two-time Gold Glove-winner Roberto Pérez within the non-roster crew.
Dalton Guthrie, whose father Mark performed for the Red Sox throughout his personal Major League profession, is one other intriguing invitee. Unlike most of his fellow non-roster people, he has some Major League expertise from his time with the Philadelphia Phillies. He provides Boston infield and outfield depth.