By Tyler Englander 10/03/2018
They still don’t know their opponent yet, but the Red Sox have a better idea about their playoff roster. Sox manager Alex Cora told members of the media that “most of the teams ALDS roster is set.” Cora added that final decisions will be made depending on if the Red Sox face the Athletics or Yankees in the best-of-five series. Those teams meet in the American League Wild Card Playoff game Wednesday night.
Cora informed pitchers Hector Velasquez and Brian Johnson along with position players Sam Travis, Tzu- Wei Lin, and Brandon Phillips they will not be on the roster for the division series. WEEI is reporting Velasquez and Johnson were asked to stay with the team, while the position players were sent to Ft. Myers where they will keep sharp in case they’re needed in later playoff rounds.
Cora also provided clarity on the Red Sox playoff rotation. Chris Sale is slated to start Game One on Friday followed by David Price and Rick Porcello. The big news occurred when Cora told the media that Nathan Eovaldi would start Game 4 if they play the Athletics. He added that the team needs to work through some things if they play the Yankees as far as starting pitching goes. This means that lefty Eduardo Rodriguez will pitch out of the bullpen for the Sox in October.
The majority of questions about the Sox playoff roster remains in the bullpen. Closer Craig Kimbrel, Matt Barnes and Steven Wright and the previously mentioned Rodriguez are locks. Brandon Workman and Ryan Brasier seem likely to make the roster leaving the last couple of roster spots for guys like Joe Kelly, Heath Hembree and Bobby Poyner. Former All-Star
Drew Pomeranz seems unlikely to make the roster. Most agree it will be the performance of the Sox bullpen that will make or break their playoff success.