At 1:00 am, the Red Sox announced their 25-man Opening Day roster in an e-mail to the media. Executive Vice President/General Manager Theo Epstein made the announcement.
If you have any doubt as to the reasons this organization is successful, all you need to know is that the front office was toiling away at 1:00 am on Easter Sunday morning.
The club confirmed the last few transactions which finalized the roster: Southpaw Scott Schoeneweis was added to the active roster as the last pitcher in the bullpen; RHP Daisuke Matsuzaka was placed on the 15-day DL (neck strain); RHP Junichi Tazawa was placed on the 60-day DL (elbow…he will undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday).
The Opening Day roster includes 13 position players and 12 pitchers, with four players on one of the Disabled Lists (RHP Boof Bonser, INF Jed Lowrie, Matsuzaka, and Tazawa).
Catchers (2): Victor Martinez, Jason Varitek
Infielders (7): Adrian Beltre, Bill Hall, Mike Lowell, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia, Marco Scutaro, Kevin Youkilis
Outfielders (4): Mike Cameron, J.D. Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jeremy Hermida
Pitchers (12): Scott Atchison, Daniel Bard, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Manny Delcarmen, John Lackey, Jon Lester, Hideki Okajima, Jonathan Papelbon, Ramon Ramirez, Scott Schoeneweis, Tim Wakefield
Why Scott Schoeneweis? The left-hander won the final spot on the roster in large part because he has an out-clause in his contract that would allow him to void the deal if he were not on the major league roster on April 15. Righty Joe Nelson—who is death on left-handed hitters—has a similar clause in his deal, but he cannot walk until June 1.
The organization has asked Nelson to go to Pawtucket to stay ready, especially in consideration of Manny Delcarmen’s ineffectiveness and a perception he may be trying to hide an injury. It’s unknown whether Nelson will accept the assignment to Triple-A, but it is expected he will…as he will almost certainly be back in Boston before too long.
The Sox have done a nice job assembling some depth for the bullpen. I would have liked to see them keep Nelson on the roster, but the practical side of the equation led to this decision. It makes perfect sense from a business standpoint. Here’s hoping Nelson goes along—he could be an important piece to the bullpen before all is said and done.
Oh yeah, before I go…Happy Easter, everyone!