HOUSTON -- The Red Sox released their roster for the American League Division Series and it includes all five members of the team's starting rotation.The setup should allow manager John Farrell to have plenty of multi-inning options out of the bullpen. There's a chance the Sox will only use three
HOUSTON -- The Red Sox released their roster for the American League Division Series and it includes all five members of the team's starting rotation.
The setup should allow manager John Farrell to have plenty of multi-inning options out of the bullpen. There's a chance the Sox will only use three starting pitchers in the series if ace Chris Sale comes back on three days of rest for Game 4.
Sale is pitching Game 1 today, followed by Thomas Pomeranz in Game 2 on Friday and Doug Fister for Sunday's Game 3.
At least for the first two games of the series, Rick Porcello and Eduardo Rodriguez will be available out of the bullpen.
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Veteran outfielder Chris Young, who struggled against left-handers this season, was left off the roster. Right-handed hitter Rajai Davis, acquired in August for his speed, will be the fourth outfielder.
Instead of taking Young as a fifth outfielder, the Sox are going with three versatile reserve infielders in Eduardo Nunez, Brock Holt and Deven Marrero.
With Nunez and Dustin Pedroia both playing through knee injuries, Holt and Marrero offer injury protection. There also might be times that Farrell deploys Marrero as a defensive replacement in the late innings, particularly at third base for rookie Rafael Devers.
"And if we weren't in a situation to need the extra infielders, [Young] would be on the roster," said Farrell. "I can respect his thoughts and opinions and desire to be on this roster, and I respect him as a person and as a player. But I felt like what our team needs was to have the coverage defensively on the infield. You factor in the two health situations plus defending for Raffy Devers late, we needed the extra infielders."
The Sox are going with 11 pitchers and 14 position players.
With several relievers in competition for the final couple of spots, September callup Austin Maddox beat out Matt Barnes, Richard Hembree and Brandon Workman.
In 13 appearances, Maddox had an 0.52 ERA.
"Yeah, [the high-leverage spots] that we did put him in, it didn't change his approach, didn't change his mound presence, his demeanor, his attack," said Farrell. "As we've seen in the past, a reliever can come to you without maybe initially planning, and they gain a little bit of momentum. It felt like some of the workload with other guys started to show. And that's a tough decision when you've got a guy that's been a key member of your bullpen all season and you go in a different direction. That's when the decisions are difficult."
Carson Smith, the side-winder who came back from Tommy John surgery in September, also secured a spot.
Lefty relievers Robby Scott and Fernando Abad also did not make the roster. Farrell has David Price and Rodriguez available for lefty relief.
If the Red Sox go on to the AL Championship Series presented by Camping World, they can reset their roster at that time.
Boston will carry 11 pitchers, two catchers, eight infielders and four outfielders in the series against the Astros.
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Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.