April 03, 2017

Opening Day!!!!

It's Opening Day. I know yesterday was the official MLB Opening Day, but today is the first Red Sox game of the season so now it really counts! By the way, if you don't capitalize "Opening Day", we can't be friends.  It should be a national (both in the US and Canada) holiday.  It IS an official stat holiday for my company (perk of being the owner - I make the rules).

Anyhow, I'm looking forward to it. Not quite as much as the 2014 opener when I was at Fenway to see the banner get raised, but every Opening Day is special.

The Red Sox have finalized their 25 man roster.  Not too different than what I had predicted in mid February.

Here are the guys we get to look forward to as the season starts:

Starting pitchers
Rick Porcello
Chris Sale (L)
Steven Wright
Eduardo Rodriguez (L)

I had Price and Pomeranz also on the roster.  They are both on the DL. I had EdRo starting in Pawtucket but did say he'd be in the rotation if anyone was injured.  Pomeranz seems like a roster move, since they won't need a 5th starter until his DL stint is up.

Relief Pitchers
Craig Kimbrel
Joe Kelly
Matt Barnes
Robbie Ross (L)
Heath Embree
Robby Scott (L)
Fernando Abad (L)
Ben Taylor

I had the same first six guys.  Also had included Tyler Thornburg who is on the DL. I thought the 2nd loogy spot would be a battle between Scott and Abad and Scott would win it.  With the Thornburg injury there's room for both.  Ben Taylor was a surprise addition, whose spot was open due to the aforementioned Pomeranz temporary roster move.

Sandy Leon (S)
Christian Vazquez

No surprises here.  Swihart starting in Pawtucket because he has options.

Mitch Moreland (L)
Dustin Pedroia
Xander Bogaerts
Pablo Sandoval (S)
Hanley Ramirez
Brock Holt (L)
Steve Selsky

I had the first six guys.  Thought the last utility spot would go to Josh Rutledge over Marco Hernandez.  Rutledge is on the DL, and with Moreland battling the flu, Steve Selsky is more able to back up first base than Hernandez.

Mookie Betts
Jackie Bradley Jr. (L)
Andrew Benintendi (L)
Chris Young

Again, no surprises there.

So, in total I had correctly forecasted 21 of the 25 players on the Opening Day roster.  The ones I missed, Price, Pomeranz, Thornburg and Rutlege are all on the DL.

This afternoon, I will be watching the Red Sox opener at a local drinking establishment with a bunch of baseball fans.
Here is the lineup for today's game:
1. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
2. Andrew Benintendi, LF
3. Mookie Betts, RF
4. Hanley Ramirez, DH
5. Mitch Moreland, 1B
6. Xander Bogaerts, SS
7. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
8. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
9. Sandy Leon, C
Pitching - Rick Porcello

For Pedroia, this is his 11th straight start on Opening Day.  Guys such as Ted Williams, Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, Wade Boggs and David Ortiz never did that. In fact, if Pedroia starts on Opening Day next year, he'll tie the Red Sox record, currently held by Yaz.

Beni starts in LF.  Hopefully he'll end up a fixture for years to come there, following in the footsteps of Williams, Yaz, Rice and Ramirez, who started 55 Opening Days between them since 1940.


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