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April 2, 2009 at 9:34 AM

April 2 Fort Report - Final rosters coming into shape

As the big club wraps up Grapefruit League play today and prepares to head north, the minor leaguers won't be far behind. Over the last week, the minor leaguers have been loosely separated into affiliate rosters. The minor league clubs have two more games left in Ft. Myers, wrapping up game action on Friday. The Sox will then hold a camp day on Saturday for all of the minor leaguers, at which time final rosters will likely be set and the players will need to make final arrangements for travel to their assigned cities. Each of Pawtucket, Portland, Salem, and Greenville open their seasons one week from today on Thursday, April 9.

While there will surely be a few minor tweaks in the coming days, and certain of our projections are still speculative at this point, the 2009 rosters are coming to light. Zach Daeges looks like he could start the season in Pawtucket. Daniel Nava is suffering from a minor oblique injury, and could start the season on the DL. Jason Place is battling for a spot in Portland, but more than likely will break camp with Salem after missing time this spring with an ankle injury. Oscar Tejeda looks headed to Greenville to start the year, and Derrik Gibson will likely start the season in XST, possibly tabbed for Lowell. Among players we won't be seeing on the 2009 rosters are Steve Green and Javier Garcia, who were both released, and Brian Steinocher, who retired earlier this week.

As of this morning, there is still a surplus of about sixteen minor league players in the organization at the Low-A level or above, as compared to the number rosters spots at each level. This means that there are likely to be a few additional cuts. Additionally, some of those players could be held back in XST on the taxi-squad. In the past, the team has typically kept around ten players back in XST (above and beyond rehabbing players and the players actually slated for Lowell and the GCL) to be assigned to affiliates in the event of injuries. Look for the team to do the same this season.