Red Sox Preview: 10 Random Thoughts Before Spring Training Games Begin

In the end, baseball is again.

The Red Sox on Sunday will face the Minnesota Twins of their first 2021 spring coaching recreation. Following a foul season in 2020 and a busy-but-polarizing offseason, Boston has given us a lot to consider.

We may go on and on about this workforce. And we’re certain you might, too.

For now, listed below are 10 random ideas (in no specific order) earlier than the Red Sox kick off their spring coaching slate:


What if Franchy Cordero actually struggles?
Cordero, an uber-talented however unproven outfielder acquired within the Andrew Benintendi commerce, seemingly will likely be given each alternative to earn the beginning left fielder job. He would possibly even have the job no matter how he does this spring.

However what if his struggles are so dangerous that the Red Sox merely can’t put him in left area on Opening Day? Would the job then change into Marwin Gonzalez’s to lose? Would a door open for a high prospect?

These sorts of questions are why we’re as skeptical of Boston’s outfield as we’re optimistic about it.

Will a prospect drive their means onto the roster?
From the place we’re standing, these appear like the prospects with the perfect possibilities of breaking camp on the large league roster:

(Notice: Bobby Dalbec technically counts as a prospect however we totally anticipate him to make this workforce.)

Jarren Duran — CF (No. 4 prospect)
Tanner Houck — RHP (No. 7 prospect)
Jeter Downs — 2B (No. 2 prospect)
Connor Seabold — RHP (No. 9 prospect)
Bryan Mata — RHP (No. 3 prospect)

Of those 5 gamers, Houck simply has the perfect likelihood of creating the workforce. He would possibly begin the season in Triple-A, however he additionally may earn a spot within the rotation or, on the very least, as an opener/lengthy reliever.

Duran, doubtlessly the middle fielder of the long run, has flown up the prospect rankings over the previous yr. However the Red Sox doubtless want to see more of him within the minors (he’s but to play in Triple-A) earlier than giving him a promotion.

Downs, acquired within the Mookie Betts commerce, appears like a longshot as their merely wouldn’t sufficient enjoying time for him within the majors. Look out for a late-season call-up, nonetheless.

Mata would wish to dominate this spring to have an opportunity. He’s obtained a ton of expertise, however he must refine his command. The Red Sox additionally must determine whether or not he’ll be a starter or a reliever.

Seabold, 25, may make this workforce. The Red Sox assume extremely of him, as do many round baseball. He would have to be awfully spectacular all through the spring, although.

We will’t wait to look at Hirokazu Sawamura
Sawamura, 32, nonetheless goes by way of COVID-19 journey protocols and has but to step on the sphere for the Red Sox. We eagerly await his arrival.


Signed as a free agent out of Japan, Sawamura is a relative unknown. However his numbers final season, coupled with very spectacular highlights, make it straightforward to check a high-leverage function for the hard-throwing righty.

Noah Track would’ve been an enchanting participant to look at this spring
Final yr, Track came upon he needed to attend Navy flight college and, in flip, put his skilled baseball profession on maintain. He may not resume his profession till subsequent yr, on the earliest.

Had issues gone otherwise, Track, a hard-throwing right-hander who dazzled in 2019 with Group USA, may have entered camp as a top-six Red Sox prospect. Whether or not he would have continued his upward development is anybody’s guess, however Track’s make-up and high-quality stuff may have made him a candidate for early season promotion.

For now, the 23-year-old is the No. 11 prospect within the system and a bit of a thriller.

We stand purchase our take concerning the offseason
A bit of over per week in the past, we laid out why we consider the Red Sox had a powerful offseason. Moreover, we explored why the workforce and their followers needs to be inspired by what Chaim Bloom and his employees have accomplished over the past yr.

Reactions to that story have been blended, however lots of you passionately disagreed.

We now have nothing so as to add apart from we stand by our take.

Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) and third baseman Rafael Devers (11)

2021 Red Sox Infield Outlook: Expertise, Versatility, Prospects Gasoline Optimism

Seems like an enormous contract extension is simply across the nook
What Bloom lately mentioned about Rafael Devers speaks for itself:

“What I’d say is clearly, I’ve talked about this, that is usually the time of yr when these kinds of conversations occur. I don’t must inform you guys how good he’s or how necessary he’s. He’s a man that we might like to see carrying our uniform for a protracted, very long time.

“If and when there’s information to announce due to that, we’ll contemplate who we need to leak it to, however clearly we’re not going to get into any type of specifics concerning the course of there.”

Clearly, Devers isn’t the one participant whom the Red Sox may prolong earlier than the beginning of the common season.

Is Garrett Whitlock legit?
The Red Sox in December chosen Whitlock, a hard-throwing right-hander, from the New York Yankees within the Rule 5 Draft.

Since then, the workforce hasn’t stopped singing his praises.

Supervisor Alex Cora lately mentioned this of Whitlock:

“Whitlock is a man that I’ll be paying a whole lot of consideration to. Wait till you come down right here, whoever comes down, and also you see him. He performs the half. He performs the half. He threw a bullpen (Friday) and was very spectacular. Essentially the most spectacular factor about him is the best way he acts, the best way he takes care of his physique and what he does. He’s a really quiet child, he is aware of what he needs to do and I’m trying ahead to seeing him pitch and see the place he takes us.”

Bloom over the weekend added this: “We’ll see how camp goes however very impressed up to now.”

Whitlock, 24, at the moment is the group’s No. 32 prospect. We’re not going to inform you we all know the whole lot about him. All we all know is the Red Sox have piqued our curiosity.

Let’s not completely undervalue spring coaching win-loss information
On the finish of the day, workforce’s can look terrible in spring coaching and nonetheless do very effectively as soon as the sport’s actually matter.

However contemplate this:

2018 spring coaching document: 22-9.
2018 common season: traditionally nice.

2019 spring coaching document: 12-17.
2019 common season: terrible begin, by no means recovered.

2020 spring coaching (earlier than COVID-19 hit): Sep 11.
2020 common season: very, very dangerous.

The Red Sox want some good vibes after the occasions of the final two years. Hitting the bottom operating this spring may go a great distance towards early season success.

Maintain an eye fixed out for trades
No, we don’t have any inside data.

However Bloom’s penchant for trades, both of the blockbuster or under-the-radar varieties, is obvious. Don’t be shocked if the Red Sox swing one other deal or two over the subsequent month.

We’re grateful for baseball normalcy
Comparatively talking, anyway.

We nonetheless have a protracted strategy to go earlier than on a regular basis life, not to mention baseball, feels prefer it used to. However the Red Sox can have followers within the stands throughout spring coaching and at Fenway Park for Opening Day. As of proper now, it seems like we’ll have a full season of baseball — and thank goodness for that.

Fingers crossed.

Thumbnail photograph by way of
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Photos

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