Though it’ll be a week or more before either Drew Pomeranz or Steven Wright is able to throw off a mound (as Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald writes), Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski stated that he feels the Sox are deeper in rotation options than the vast majority of clubs (Twitter link via Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal). Mastrodonato’s colleague, Evan Drellich, recently took a look at the team’s lack of established options beyond the top six of Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello, Eduardo Rodriguez, Pomeranz and Wright, though, noting that each of Henry Owens, Roenis Elias and Brian Johnson comes with question marks. (The Sox also have Kyle Kendrick in camp on a non-roster invite.)
There’s a bit of a disconnect in the messaging being put forth by manager John Farrell and Dombrowski, as Farrell stated yesterday that Wright’s rehab has “certainly” taken longer than the team anticipated (via Mastrodonato’s column), while Dombrowski said today (Twitter link via the Globe’s Alex Speier) that the rehab of Wright and Pomeranz has progressed “as expected.” Speier adds in a second tweet that Dombrowski said there’s no room for additions on the MLB roster, but if the team adds any additional non-roster players, they’d likely be pitchers.
More on the Sox and the rest of the division…
- Also from Mastrodonato’s column, Farrell acknowledged that Blake Swihart’s remaining minor league option could work against him in Spring Training. Both Sandy Leon and Christian Vazquez are out of options, and the Red Sox won’t want to expose either to waivers at the end of camp, which seemingly signals a trip to Triple-A Pawtucket to open the season for Swihart. Certainly, injuries could change the plan for the Sox, but it’s tough to see all three fitting on the roster. “We’ve got three guys that are fully healthy, that’s No. 1, particularly with what Blake went through last year and the surgery in the offseason,” Farrell told Mastrodonato. “But with Sandy, Christian and Blake, yeah we feel really good about the core group that’s there. We’ll see how things unfold.”
- Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes that after the Rays passed on Franklin Gutierrez and Byung Ho Park, they’ll likely to see which right-handed bats emerge as potential additions over the course of Spring Training (unless Matt Wieters “falls to them,” he notes). Tampa Bay was tied to a number of right-handed bats, with Mike Napoli, Chris Carter and Mark Reynolds all linked to the Rays at one point (in addition to Gutierrez and Park). The Rays could add either a first baseman or second baseman to serve as a platoon partner for Logan Morrison and/or Brad Miller. Also of note, regarding the Rays, Topkin adds that past interest in right-handed reliever Tommy Hunter could suggest that he’d be a fit as a late pickup.
- As the Orioles began to report to Spring Training in Sarasota, Fla., GM Dan Duquette was asked by the Baltimore media once again today if there’s any chance of a reunion with Matt Wieters now that his market has seemingly been stagnant for so long. Via MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko, Duquette replied that Orioles “made a choice” when they signed Welington Castillo to a two-year, $13MM deal (with a player option/opt-out clause after year one) back in December. Duquette did note that he’s still on the hunt for further pitching depth, even after acquiring young right-hander Gabriel Ynoa from the Mets last Friday.