Ranking the 2013 Boston Red Sox Roster: Players 26-30
John Farrell-Boston Red Sox Manager
John Farrell faces a tough challenge in his first season as the Boston Red Sox manager.
He inherits a team that has woefully underperformed the last two seasons while at times proving to be unprofessional and entitled, a very troubling mix of attitudes.
The Red Sox went out this winter and added veteran players on short-term contracts to rebuild the major league roster until the top prospects in the minor leagues are ready.
Boston starts this spring with a deeper roster than years past, but without the star power that was featured on last season’s roster.
Where that will hurt is this ranking is that the Red Sox are weaker between 1-10 spots in this ranking, but much stronger in the 11-30 spots than years past.
Giving the age and potential regression of the American League East this season, the Red Sox could find themselves in contention for the division if they can get their pitching to perform better and get off to a good start during the first quarter of the season.
Farrell’s two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays were slightly underwhelming, but given the financial restrictions they faced, he was able to learn on the job and gain very valuable experience as a major league manager. It was the same formula that benefitted the Red Sox with former manager Terry Francona.
This is the first-part of six-part series ranking the players on the Red Sox roster. This series will continue as spring training moves forward, all the way to the top spot.
30. Ryan Lavarnway
If Ryan Lavarnway had hit at all at the major league level last season, it is unlikely that the Red Sox would have gone out and signed David Ross this past winter.
But, that is what hitting .157 in a 153 at-bats will do. The extended view of Lavarnway was a long swing that couldn’t catch up to good MLB fastballs.
It is officially a make-it-or-break-it season for the 25-year-old Lavarnway. He will need to make a strong impression in camp both offensively and defensively to make the Red Sox feel more comfortable about bringing him to the majors and giving him part of the catching pie.
Likely to start the season in the minors. That might change with a trade of Jarrod Saltalamacchia or trading Lavarnway in a package at the July trade deadline.
29. Lyle Overbay
Almost a week ago, the 36-year-old Lyle Overbay seemed far more likely to make the Red Sox roster.
Once Boston traded for Mike Carp, it put Overbay’s chances in a different place, fighting with Carp, Daniel Nava and Ryan Sweeney for the last spot on the roster.
Overbay has played in the majors for 12 seasons and has a career slash line of .270/.353/.438, showing good plate discipline, but somewhat below average power. His best chance of making the roster comes if Mike Napoli needs to start the year on the disabled list.
Most likely scenario? Overbay is traded towards the end of spring training to a National League team in need of help at first and on the bench.
28. Daniel Nava
Daniel Nava was given a good opportunity to play last season due to the continuing injury problems of Carl Crawford and David Ortiz, allowing him to get 317 plate appearances in 2012.
Nava is a feel good story, working his way to the majors from being an independent league find. Nava projects as a fourth outfielder, who can switch hit and shows good plate discipline.
The 30-year-old faces a tough challenge in order to make the roster with the addition of Lyle Overbay and Mike Carp. He has been taking grounders at first to be more versatile, but his inability to play CF might hurt his chances to make the roster.
27. Franklin Morales
Franklin Morales was one of the few bright spots for the Red Sox in 2012, one of the few players who exceeded the expectations of the team. His nine spot starts showed a ton of potential.
The 27-year-old Morales faces an uphill battle to make the Red Sox roster unless an injury occurs during spring training, but gives Boston great depth.
The lefties versatility should allow him to find an opportunity with another major league team if he is not in Boston.
Morales was given a chance to start for the Red Sox and he looked very competent during his time in the Red Sox rotation. He comes into this season likely battling Alfredo Aceves for a chance to be the swing man on the staff. If Daniel Bard falters, one will likely make the roster.
26. Alfredo Aceves
The issues with Alfredo Aceves have already started this spring, with Aceves trying to test new Red Sox manager John Farrell during a batting practice session.
Aceves seemed to butt heads with former Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine last season, resulting in one suspension and multiple other issues with the manager.
To the Red Sox credit, they immediately called Aceves’ agent into town for a meeting about Aceves’ behavior, putting the talented righty on a very short leash.
Aceves has pitched well during his career, been also proven to be high maintenance. The New York Yankees tired of his act even though he had compiled a 14-1 record for the Yankees over three seasons.
Aceves was great for the Red Sox in 2011, pitching to a 10-2 record with the team, mostly out of the bullpen.
Last year? Not so much. 2-10 record with 25 saves with a 5.36 ERA. Hardly the type of performance that would make one comfortable to test a new manager.