Who’s in, who’s out: projecting the Boston Red Sox ALDS roster


Thanks to impressive depth, the Boston Red Sox have some tough choices on who does and doesn’t make their ALDS roster.

With one game separating the Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros for supremacy in the American League, projecting the Boston Red Sox roster for the Division Series without knowing their challenger is, well, challenging.

And when you combine Dave Dombrowski’s shrewd mid-season acquisitions with the emergence of an impact rookie and return of key players from injuries, the Sox boast impressive depth from which to choose.

That said, there are some clear locks, barring injury, for their ALDS roster, regardless of opponent.



Christian Vazquez, and Sandy Leon.

While Vazquez has emerged as the primary starter, Leon is perfectly capable of stepping in when needed.


First baseman/designated hitter Mitch Moreland, 1B/DH Hanley Ramirez, 2B Dustin Pedroia, SS Xander Boegarts, 3B Rafael Devers, and IF Eduardo Nunez.

BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 13: Hanley Ramirez
BOSTON, MA – SEPTEMBER 13: Hanley Ramirez /

Both Pedroia and Nunez have knee problems. Pedroia has played through pain, though his innings are being managed, and Nunez does not yet have a timetable to return to the lineup. Should either be unable to go for the ALDS, expect Brock Holt to take their place on the roster, if he’s not already on it (see below).


Left fielder Andrew Benintendi, CF  Jackie Bradley, Jr., and RF Mookie Betts

Betts is nursing a wrist injury and, though a CT scan revealed no major damage, it’s unnerving to consider the Sox playing either the Indians or Astros without arguably their best player.

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Chris Sale, Drew Pomeranz, Rick Porcello, and Eduardo Rodriguez.

While Doug Fister has pitched very well of late, it would be hard to bump any of these four for him.


Craig Kimbrel, Addison Reed, Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes,Fernando Abad, and David Price.

Kimbrel is the closer who can and will get more than three outs, and Reed, Kelly, Barnes and Abad are likely to be called on for the high-leverage, late inning outs to get to him. Price may be this team’s Andrew Miller, entering games anywhere from the early to late innings for lengthier stretches, though whether or not he can work back-to-back games is unknown.

That brings us to a total of 21 players, leaving four spots to fill.

On the Bubble

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First baseman Sam Travis, OF/IF Brock Holt, OF Chris Young, OF Rajai Davis, RP Heath Hembree, RP Brandon Workman, RP Carson Smith, RP Robby Scott, and SP Doug Fister.

Holt’s versatility is appealing, though his season-long struggles at the plate are a drawback.

Travis, on the other hand, hits lefties well, though he’s limited in the field to first base. Still, he’s a better platoon mate for Moreland than Holt, who both bat left handed.

Either Young or Davis should make the roster as the fourth outfielder. And if Young were mashing lefties as he has in the past, he’d likely be among the locks. But his struggles this season have opened the door for Davis, who traditionally hits lefties and can steal a base.

Hembree, Workman and Smith all have pitched well out of the pen and are simply involved in a numbers crunch. Hembree is the favorite, though Workman’s ability to go multiple innings or Smith’s strikeout stuff could appeal to manager John Farrell.

Scott, too, has pitched well, though he is a LOOGY who needs to kept far away from right-handed batters. Against a righty heavy Astros lineup (Josh Reddick and Brian McCann excepted), Scott might be surplus to requirement. Against an Indians squad that likes to platoon, however, Farrell might want flexibility to play matchups with another lefty in the pen.

Price, along with either Hembree or Workman, has long relief covered, leaving no room for Fister.

Next: Eduardo Rodriguez makes his case for a Red Sox playoff start

The Final Four

Holt, Travis, Hembree and Davis are my picks to matchup with the Astros. Scott takes Hembree’s place against the Indians, which leaves Young, Workman, Smith and Fister, like the rest of us: cheering on the Boston Red Sox from home.