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Projecting the Red Sox roster, version 2.0

Mookie Betts has looked good batting leadoff and playing center field.Kathy Willens/AP

FORT MYERS, Fla. — We took our first shot at predicting the Red Sox roster for Opening Day back on March 2. In the time since, the Sox have played 12 games and a few things have changed.

Rusney Castillo hasn't played since March 3 and it's looking increasingly like he will start the season on the disabled list. The Sox don't seem to be in any hurry to have him come back given how good Mookie Betts looks in center field and batting leadoff.

The bullpen also has evolved a bit with Tommy Layne moving into the mix in our latest projection.


There will be a few more to come. But here is our second guess on how it all shakes out:


CF Mookie Betts (R)

2B Dustin Pedroia (R)

DH David Ortiz (L)

LF Hanley Ramirez (R)

3B Pablo Sandoval (S)

1B Mike Napoli (R)

RF Shane Victorino (S)

SS Xander Bogaerts (R)

C Christian Vazquez (R)

Explanation: Initially, our thought was that the Sox would trade Victorino. But now that Betts has taken hold of center field, it makes sense for the Sox to keep Victorino in right field. He can he supplemented with Allen Craig and Daniel Nava when needed. Castillo could linger on the DL for a bit then get in some rehab games for Pawtucket. That buys the Sox some time. The rest of the lineup stays the same.


C Ryan Hanigan

INF Brock Holt

OF-1B Daniel Nava

OF-1B Allen Craig

Explanation: Craig is a potentially important player. He can play first base, left field and right field and would be a strong choice to DH. Mike Napoli, Hanley Ramirez, Victorino and David Ortiz are all players who had had issues with injuries in recent years and would benefit from getting days off once a week or so, particularly Ramirez and Victorino. Don't forget, Craig was an excellent hitter (.312/.364/.500) from 2011-13 with the Cardinals. Last season's sharp downturn was the direct result of an injury.



RHP Clay Buchholz

RHP Rick Porcello

RHP Justin Masterson

LHP Wade Miley

RHP Joe Kelly

Explanation: The Sox shook up the order a bit and it appears Miley will get the fourth game of the season so he can face the Yankees in Yankee Stadium, favorable conditions for a lefty. Buchholz has been impressive so far.


RHP Koji Uehara

RHP Junichi Tazawa

LHP Craig Breslow

RHP Edward Mujica

RHP Alexi Ogando

LHP Tommy Layne

RHP Anthony Varvaro

Explanation: Layne has moved ahead of Robbie Ross Jr. in the competition to be the second lefthander behind Breslow based on recent comments made by John Farrell. Counting spring training, minor league and major league games since 2014, Layne has pitched 80 times for the Sox. He has a 1.77 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and 9.0 strikeouts per nine innings. That's pretty tough to ignore. There's also a scenario that has the Sox keeping just one lefty because Varvaro has been so good against lefthanded hitters in his career. If that is the route they go, don't be surprised if Matt Barnes makes the team as a reliever. Farrell has been impressed with his work in shorter stints. But the lure of having two lefties will be strong. Mujica hasn't pitched well in spring training so far but with the Sox on the hook for $4.75 million, he'll be sticking around.


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Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.