Red Sox announce Opening Day roster

March 30th, 2023

BOSTON -- For the Red Sox, the winners of the final roster spots were Raimel Tapia (backup outfielder), Yu Chang (utility infielder) and Kaleb Ort (eighth reliever).

The fact that Spring Training largely went as planned for the Red Sox is a good thing. The core members of the team stayed healthy, which is what was deemed most important when camp started.

Here is a position-by-position look at the roster Boston will open the season with.

Catcher (2): Reese McGuire,
McGuire did what was expected of him and won the starting job. The Red Sox are confident in his defense and hope that his strong finish at the plate last season can be carried over. Wong, also a strong defender, recovered from a left hamstring strain in time to beat out Jorge Alfaro for the backup spot.

First base (1): Triston Casas
Casas has a strong eye with power, and he could be in the mix for the American League Rookie of the Year Award.

Second base (1): Christian Arroyo
Arroyo is an above-average defender and holds his own at the plate. The biggest issue for the former first-rounder has always been staying healthy.

Shortstop (1): Kiké Hernández
Hernández has the opportunity he has always wanted -- to play shortstop on a near everyday basis. After playing center field for Puerto Rico in the Classic, Hernández will get back in the swing of things at shortstop.

Third base (1): Rafael Devers
Now the face of the franchise, Devers has already done so much and is just coming into his prime as he heads into his age-26 season.

Left field (1):
Yoshida made a name for himself at the World Baseball Classic, setting a tournament record of 13 RBIs. The fact the Sox are hitting him cleanup to open the season shows that they believe in his power.

Center field (1): Adam Duvall
Duvall, a right-handed hitter, hopes to connect frequently off and over the inviting Green Monster with his powerful swing from the right side. Defensively, he will take on the challenging dimensions of center field at Fenway.

Right field (1): Alex Verdugo
The Red Sox are quietly confident their right fielder is poised for a breakout season.

Designated hitter (1): Justin Turner
The scariest moment of camp occurred when Turner was hit in the face by a pitch in a game against the Tigers on March 6. Fortunately, he suffered lacerations instead of fractures, and all his scans came back clean. Turner missed two weeks of game action, but he got himself quickly back up to speed and is good to go.

Bench/utility (3): Rob Refsnyder, Raimel Tapia, Yu Chang
Refsnyder will play against a lot of left-handers and can play all three outfield spots. Tapia gives the Sox the veteran lefty outfield bat they need off the bench. Chang missed time due to the World Baseball Classic and visa issues delayed his re-entry to the Red Sox until the final days of camp, but the Sox are confident he will provide solid defense at all four infield spots.

Starting pitchers (5): Corey Kluber, Chris Sale, Nick Pivetta, Tanner Houck, Kutter Crawford
Sale made it through Spring Training healthy and thriving, which was the best news of all for the Red Sox. Houck struggled in most of his Spring Training starts, so the spotlight will be on him for the third game of the season on Sunday. Garrett Whitlock, coming off right hip surgery, should be activated by April 11 or so. Bryan Bello, who had a minor forearm issue early in Spring Training, will be back not long after. Houck and Crawford seem like the front-runners to move to the bullpen at that point. Lefty James Paxton could create more competition if he returns from his right hamstring strain in May.

Relief pitchers (8): Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin, John Schreiber, Richard Bleier, Ryan Brasier, Zack Kelly, Josh Winckowski,
For the first time in years, the Red Sox know who their closer is heading into the season. This, after the acquisition of Jansen, who has 391 career saves. There are several candidates for the final two spots in the bullpen, but Kelly and Winckowski appear to be leading the charge. Winckowski offers value as a long man early in the season. Now that lefty Joely Rodriguez will start the season on the injured list due to a Grade 2 strain in his right oblique, Sherriff -- a non-roster invite who was recently re-assigned to Minors camp -- is back in the running to make the team.