Monday, February 12, 2007

Happy Truck Day!

Yes, today is Truck Day, the day the Red Sox equipment truck leaves for Fort Meyers and a national holiday for Red Sox Nation. Much like the groundhog, it's the first tangible sign that spring is coming and that it's about six weeks until Opening Day.

Spring Training itself should be fairly routine, barring any major transactions. The starting lineup and starting rotation are pretty well set, unless Jonathan Papelbon gets moved back into the bullpen. The big question is the closer and the exact composition of the bullpen, something that may not get solved until very close to April. And don't be surprised to see one or more of the kids, Craig Hansen, Jon Lester and Manny Delcarmen, start the year in Pawtucket.

Here's my guess as to the Opening Day 25 man roster, assuming the Sox elect to carry 12 pitchers at the beginning of the year, Todd Helton or someone else doesn't come aboard before then and there are no major injuries:

Catchers: Jason Varitek, Doug Mirabelli
Infielders: Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Julio Lugo, Mike Lowell, Alex Cora, David Ortiz (DH)
Outfielders: Manny Ramirez, Coco Crisp, J.D. Drew, Wily Mo Pena, Eric Hinske
Starting pitchers: Curt Schilling, Diasuke Matsuzaka, Josh Beckett, Jonathan Papelbon, Tim Wakefield
Relief pitchers: Mike Timlin, Brendan Donnelly, Hideki Okajima, Joel Pinero, Julian Tavarez, J.C. Romero, Manny Delcarmen.

That's it. I think that Hansen and Jon Lester start the year in Pawtucket, but need to be ready to come up when the inevitable injuries hit. Unless Okajima just stinks up the place in the Spring, he's on the team to give Daisuke someone to hang out with.

A few pitchers have already shown up and the rest and the catchers will be coming in the next few days. It's showtime!


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