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Red Sox 2023 Spring Training Preview

The Red Sox had a busy offseason but still face an uphill battle to get back to the playoffs. This team will look very different.

The Boston Red Sox enter Spring Training hopeful of a bounce back, but fans and analysts are wary of another last-place finish.  The front office pulled off many moves, but the departures of both stars and depth pieces leaves the team with a similar level of talent as last year’s losing squad.  The Sox have a high ceiling, but a low floor could spell doom.


OF Masataka Yoshida

RP Kenley Jansen

RP Chris Martin

3B Justin Turner

SP Corey Kluber

RP Joely Rodriguez

RP Richard Bleier

SS Adalberto Mondesi

RP Wyatt Mills

RP Theo Denlinger

OF Narciso Crook (minors)

RP Jake Faria (minors)

OF Greg Allen (minors)

RP Ryan Sherriff (minors)

INF Niko Goodrum (minors)

RP Sterling Sharp (minors)

RP Matt Dermody (minors)


SS Xander Bogaerts

SP Nate Eovaldi

SP Michael Wacha

RP Matt Strahm

DH J.D. Martinez

SP Rich Hill

RP Matt Barnes

1B Eric Hosmer

RP Josh Taylor

1B Franchy Cordero

SS Jeter Downs

RP Darwinzon Hernandez

SP Connor Seabold

RP Franklin German

SP Jacob Wallace

INF Yu Chang

P Inmer Lobo

Offseason Grade: C

You can’t fault the Red Sox for trying.  GM Chaim Bloom made a concerted effort to improve the bullpen and the outfield.  He seems to have succeeded in that regard, but most evaluators think he overpaid for Jansen, Martin, and Yoshida.  But paying up is better than leaving a positional hole, and Boston could still use another starting pitcher and a reliable shortstop.  Much like last year’s trade deadline, the Red Sox moved many pieces around without noticeably improving the team.  Bloom does get some extra credit for extending Rafael Devers.

Red Sox Spring Training Guide

Who Plays Up the Middle?

With the shocking departure of Xander Bogaerts and surgery to Trevor Story, the Red Sox have scrambled to put a middle infield together.  While Enrique Hernandez is better suited for centerfield, he seems to be the incumbent favorite at shortstop.  That leaves Christian Arroyo to start at second base, even though he fits better as a utility player.

The Red Sox also acquired Adalberto Mondesi from the Royals in an appealing buy-low move.  Mondesi is an exciting player with blazing speed and sneaky power, but his contact issues and a variety of injuries have hampered him.  If Mondesi is healthy (a big if), he will play short, which will create a meaningful trickledown effect.  New signing Adam Duvall is slated to start in center, but he could move to a corner while Hernandez plays on the grass.  Alternatively, Hernandez slides to the keystone and Arroyo comes off the bench.

Is There Any Rotation Stability?

The Red Sox have many interesting starting pitchers around, but few they can rely on.  Boston ostensibly has a clear top five of Chris Sale, James Paxton, Corey Kluber, Nick Pivetta, and Brayan Bello.  The problem is that Pivetta is the only one with a long track record and little injury concerns.  Sale and Paxton have both missed much of the last three seasons.  Kluber was fully healthy in 2022 but missed most of the three seasons before that.  Bello will have every chance to keep his spot, but he is still a rookie.

Other options on the 40-man roster include Kutter Crawford and Josh Winckowski, but they both looked overmatched in their debuts last year.  Chris Murphy and Brandon Walter are promising prospects but need more time in AAA.  Garrett Whitlock has been lights out, but he will more likely pitch out of the bullpen.  Michael Wacha is still a free agent, and it would behoove the front office to bring him back.

Who Will Break Out?

While many fans are looking ahead to 2024, the performances of young players will be key in 2023.  Triston Casas handled his debut well and looks primed for an everyday role.  After Ceddanne Rafaela emerged as a high-rising prospect last season, scouts are wondering who will carry the mantle this year.  The most obvious answer is Miguel Bleis.  The 18-year-old outfielder is showing up on some Top 100 lists following a strong 40-game showing on the complex.  There is no guarantee he pans out, but Bleis has the makings of a star.

At the major league level, all eyes are on Masataka Yoshida.  He is not young at 29, but it is anyone’s guess whether he will succeed in MLB.  Yoshida tore up NPB for seven seasons, but some evaluators question whether his power will play in America.  The Sox are justifiably confident that his excellent plate discipline will lead to more hittable pitches for Yoshida.

 Projected Opening Day Roster

Starting Lineup

1. LF Masataka Yoshida

2. SS Enrique Hernandez

3. 3B Rafael Devers

4. 1B Triston Casas

5. RF Alex Verdugo

6. DH Justin Turner

7. CF Adam Duvall

8. 2B Christian Arroyo

9. C Reese McGuire

Bench: Connor Wong, Adalberto Mondesi, Rob Refsnyder, Bobby Dalbec

Starting Rotation

1. Chris Sale

2. Nick Pivetta

3. Corey Kluber

4. James Paxton

5. Brayan Bello


Ryan Brasier

Richard Bleier

Joely Rodriguez

John Schreiber

Tanner Houck

Chris Martin

Garrett Whitlock

Kenley Jansen

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