5 Boston Red Sox Who Won’t Make it Through 2014 Spring Training
5 Players Who Won't Make It Past Spring Training
After winning the 2013 World Series, the Boston Red Sox have largely taken a quiet tone throughout the offseason, preferring to let division rival New York Yankees make the big deals. When your largest moves of the offseason are re-signing Mike Napoli and picking up veterans A.J. Pierzynski and Edward Mujica, your organization is clearly not feeling extremely threatened by any division rivals no matter how heavy their financial might is.
When looking around the diamond at heavy hitters the Red Sox have, one will obviously look toward the likes of Napoli, David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Shane Victorino as automatic locks to start. Additionally, it appears that Pierzynski, Jackie Bradley Jr., Xander Bogaerts, Will Middlebrooks and Jonny Gomes will all start consistently if they stay healthy, and by extension Boston's lineup is relatively set in stone.
On the mound there may not be a team with a starting rotation as locked up as that of Boston as their mix of Jake Peavy, Jon Lester, John Lackey, Ryan Dempster and Clay Buchholz are all locks to be taking the mound every five days. In the bullpen Mujica, Junichi Tazawa, Craig Breslow, Burke Badenhop and Koji Uehara will all be seen on a regular basis, and they will likely combine with the starting core to form one of the best pitching staffs in MLB.
What all of these players being locks to make Boston's opening day roster ultimately means is that finding a way to Fenway Park out of Spring Training for those not mentioned above will be next to impossible. With this in mind, I have identified five players who will go to camp with Boston but have no chance of being with the team when they open the 2014 MLB season against the Baltimore Orioles.
5. Grady Sizemore
Once upon a time Grady Sizemore was allegedly going to be the future of MLB, but after not playing in a single game since September 22, 2011, it must be asked how he can be expected to return. Even if Sizemore did miraculously stay healthy through Spring Training, he will likely have to convince John Farrell to carry six outfielders to even make the team's opening day roster. This is clearly a longshot at best for Sizemore.
4. Anthony Ranaudo
The 2013 season was by far the best of Anthony Ranaudo's career in the minor leagues for the Red Sox as he posted a 11-5 record with a 2.96 ERA over 140 innings in AA and AAA. Still, he has only pitched in six career games at the AAA level and truly has no chance of making it to Boston as anything other than a long relief man. Even this role seems out of the realm of possibilities, though, as the Red Sox would likely rather have the 24-year-old develop into a starting pitcher at the AAA level than have him mop up blowout games in Fenway.
3. Ryan Lavarnway
Ryan Lavarnway has looked like a decent option behind the plate in two stints spread throughout the 2012 and 2013 season, but it looks as if the Red Sox believe he doesn't deserve a real shot to play with the big boys. If they would have thought this, A.J. Pierzynski likely would not have been signed this offseason. All that can get Lavarnway to Fenway at this point is if either Pierzynski or backup catcher David Ross incurs an injury.
2. Allen Webster
During the 2013 season, Allen Webster looked like a guy who had mastered AAA but is not good enough to start at the major league level, and this leaves him on the outside looking in of a great Boston rotation. In this first taste of MLB in 2013, Webster posted a 1-2 record with a 8.60 ERA in 30.1 innings pitched. At this point, Webster clearly needs to develop his strong arsenal of pitches before he will displace anyone in the Red Sox rotation.
1. Garin Cecchini
Garin Cecchini may be the Red Sox No. 6 prospect right now according to Baseball America, but his time with the big club will not come in 2014. This is because Boston has veteran catchers A.J. Pierzynski and David Ross on the books in addition to having Mike Napoli holding the ability to fill in at catcher if completely necessary. This will not be entirely bad for Cecchini, though, as he will have a chance to master AAA pitchers and develop at the pace that is appropriate for him.