Red Sox 2023 Opening Day roster projection: Lineup, rotation, and bullpen

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How Red Sox' lineup, rotation, and bullpen could look in 2023 originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Red Sox won't be unrecognizable when they take the field for 2023 Opening Day, but they will take some getting used to.

Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts is off to the West Coast after signing an 11-year, $280 million contract with the San Diego Padres. Designated hitter J.D. Martinez and right-hander Nathan Eovaldi signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Texas Rangers, respectively. Left-handed reliever Matt Strahm has signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. Veteran southpaw Rich Hill joined the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox front office made a handful of notable additions to the roster, but there's more work to be done before next year's campaign gets underway. Until then, here's what Boston's roster projects to look like when it takes the field on March 30.

(This post will be updated as moves are made leading into Opening Day.)

Lineup

  1. LF Masataka Yoshida

  2. SS Kiké Hernandez

  3. 3B Rafael Devers

  4. DH Justin Turner

  5. 1B Triston Casas

  6. CF Adam Duvall

  7. RF Alex Verdugo

  8. 2B Christian Arroyo

  9. Reese McGuire

Trevor Story will miss time after undergoing elbow surgery. That makes the middle infield situation even direr following the departure of Bogaerts. According to The Boston Globe's Alex Speier, manager Alex Cora said there have been "more conversations" about Hernandez taking over at shortstop, a scenario that seems more likely after Boston agreed to a deal with outfielder Adam Duvall, who likely will handle center field duties.

Still, the Red Sox could benefit from additional middle infield help before Opening Day.

Bench

C Connor Wong

1B Bobby Dalbec

OF Rob Refsnyder

2B/SS Adalberto Mondesi

Wong will split time behind the plate with Reese McGuire if the Red Sox don't sign or trade for a catcher before Opening Day.

Dalbec reportedly was placed on the trading block this offseason, but he'll serve as a backup first baseman/DH if he remains with the club. Refsnyder slots in as a solid fourth or fifth outfielder after being a pleasant surprise in 2022. The oft-injured Mondesi should split time at second base with Arroyo if healthy and can replace Hernandez at shortstop when necessary.

Starting rotation

LHP Chris Sale

RHP Nick Pivetta

RHP Garrett Whitlock

RHP Corey Kluber

RHP Brayan Bello

LHP James Paxton

At this point, Sale cannot be counted on to anchor the staff even if he's healthy. The addition of Kluber provides much-needed depth to the rotation, but the absence of a reliable No. 1 starter is glaring. A lot of "what ifs" in this group.

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Whitlock is slated to begin the season in the rotation, where he saw mixed results in 2022. Bello will look to take a step forward after showing flashes of his high upside as a rookie. Paxton has been plagued by injuries over the last couple of years and is far from a sure bet to make an impact.

Bullpen

LHP Joely Rodriguez

RHP Ryan Brasier

RHP Tanner Houck

LHP Richard Bleier

RHP John Schreiber

RHP Chris Martin

RHP Kenley Jansen

The Red Sox have made a concerted effort to improve their bullpen this offseason. They've signed southpaw Joely Rodriguez, veteran right-hander Chris Martin, and three-time All-Star closer Kenley Jansen. That's a significant upgrade over last season when the back of the bullpen was a flat-out mess.