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SoxProspects News

April 5, 2022 at 1:00 PM

Fort Report: Regular season set to begin as final rosters take shape


It did not seem likely at various points this winter, but the regular season is about to begin. Players had a final chance to impress in spring training, and the Red Sox opening day rosters for the major and minor league teams are just about finalized. For the most up-to-date view of each roster, please check out our 2022 Projected Rosters page. 

From the Fort

Chris Hatfield and Ian Cundall provided an in-depth recap of their trip to Fort Myers in the most recent episode of the Podcast. Listen in to see who impressed, who struggled, and which player may be a sleeper this season. They also discussed how the top of the system now compares with 2016, when the Red Sox had Yoan Moncada, Andrew Benintendi, and Rafael Devers as the top three prospects in the system.

Cundall also continued to provide his insights for the Red Sox Prospect Outlook series on NESN.com. Articles this week covered Jeter Downs, Marcelo Mayer, Alex Binelas (pictured, right), Nick Yorke, Jay Groome, and Josh Winckowski

Transactions

11 players optioned, transferred, or reassigned to minor league camp

Both Jay Groome and Brayan Bello were transferred from Worcester to Portland, with the two talented pitchers slated to headline the Sea Dogs rotation to begin the year. With both pitchers on the 40-man roster and already having Double-A experience, it would not be surprising to see them back in Worcester fairly quickly with hot starts to the season. 

Eduard Bazardo and Darwinzon Hernandez were both optioned from Boston to Worcester. While this was expected for Bazardo, this is a disappointing result for Hernandez after making the team out of spring training last year. Boston added both Jake Diekman and Matt Strahm this offseason, who will combine with Austin Davis to make up the left-handed contingent of the bullpen. Hernandez walked about seven batters per nine innings in the majors last year, and he will need to better harness his electric stuff to have a role in Boston. 

Boston also reassigned Kaleb Ort, Derek Holland, Christin Stewart, and Yolmer Sánchez to minor league camp. All players will likely begin the year in Worcester, with Ort and Holland pitching out of the bullpen, while Stewart and Sánchez will be the starting right fielder and second baseman, respectively. Holland did not exercise his opt-out, though he has another one in May. He will be more left-handed competition for Hernandez. 

Crawford and Danish make Boston's roster

Before Monday's spring training game, Alex Cora told the media that Kutter Crawford made the major league roster. In four innings this spring, Crawford has struck out eight while allowing just one run. With Tanner Houck in the rotation, Crawford is expected to take Houck's multi-inning relief role. 

Boston selected Tyler Danish to the major league roster and placed Chris Sale on the 60-day injured list. Danish signed as a minor league free agent in February 2022, after spending the 2021 season in the Angels organization. He has only 13 career innings at the major league level, with his last appearance in 2018 with the White Sox. Once a highly-touted prospect, the 27-year-old has looked good in his six innings this spring. 

Seven players released

Cole Brannen, Dean Miller, Jake MacKenzie, Zach Schellenger, Yasel Santana, Angel Maita, and Cuba Bess were all released on Thursday. Brannen is the biggest name as he was a second-round pick in 2017 and received an overslot signing bonus of $1.3 million. Over 296 games, he hit just .187/.287/.237 while never making it past High-A. Other than Brannen, Schellenger had the highest peak as he once ranked 20th in the system. A sixth-round pick in that same 2017 draft, Schellenger started the 2019 season in Portland after looking dominant in spring training. That spring success did not carry forward to the season, as he was demoted to High-A in May. He was never able to right the ship and threw just 13 innings last season due to injury.

Key Links

Christopher Smith of MassLive.com has articles on two of the most interesting arms in the system, Frank German and Chris Murphy. Cora mentioned German when asked about which young arms have impressed him the most in camp. 

Photo Credit: Alex Binelas and Kutter Crawford by Kelly O'Connor