catchers (2) – Jason Varitek, George Kottaras
infield (5) – Kevin Youkilis, Dustin Pedroia, Mike Lowell, Jed Lowrie, Julio Lugo
outfield (4) – Jason Bay, Jacoby Ellsbury, J.D. Drew, Rocco Baldelli
dh (1) – David Ortiz
starters (5) – Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield, Brad Penny
bullpen (7) – Jonathan Papelbon, Takashi Saito, Manny Delcarmen, Ramiro Ramirez, Javier Lopez, Hideki Okajima, Justin Masterson
dl (2) – John Smoltz, Mark Kotsay
With Kotsay expected to be out through April, the Red Sox need a back-up firstbase/corner outfielder type. The candidates are Brad Wilkerson (.111/.200/.306 in 36 ABs), Jeff Bailey (.438/.538/.750 in 32 at bats), Chris Carter (.293/.326/.537 in 41 at bats) and Paul McAnulty (.206/.229/.324 in 34 at bats).
Wilkerson is the best defender of the 4, but he hasn’t hit this spring and really has hit in 2 years. Bailey is probably the most deserving if perseverance counts for anything. He can hit, but he can’t really field. Tough choice for Boston, but thankfully it is for a reserve position, not a starting position.
There is a chance Lugo isn’t healthy to start the season (actually it’s likely he won’t be ready after knee surgery), so Nick Green (.333/.404/.548) might make the team.
When Smoltz is ready, the Red Sox might have a big decision to make. While there is a good chance injuries will solve the problem, the Red Sox might have to demote or cut a player upon Smoltz’s return. Masterson has options, but I’m not sure who else does (and who else would make sense to demote). If Wakefield doesn’t pick it up, he might be at risk too.
About 2 1/2 weeks away from opening day.