Designated hitter/outfielder J.D. Martinez is on the Red Sox roster for the American League Division Series against the Rays.
The slugger’s status for the best-of-five series had been in question after he rolled his left ankle while jogging out to right field in Sunday’s regular season finale against the Washington Nationals. He was left off the Sox’ roster for the Wild Card Game against the Yankees, with manager Alex Cora saying that the injury had to be “very serious for him not to post.”
But Martinez worked out on the field at Tropicana Field on Wednesday’s off-day, and evidently the Red Sox were sufficiently satisfied with his improvement to put him on the roster. He is not in the lineup for Game 1, but Cora said he was available for pinch-hitting duties.
The Red Sox’ Division Series roster is as follows:
Pitchers (13): Ryan Brasier, Austin Davis, Nathan Eovaldi, Tanner Houck, Adam Ottavino, Martín Pérez, Nick Pivetta, Garrett Richards, Hansel Robles, Eduardo Rodriguez, Chris Sale, Josh Taylor, Garrett Whitlock
Catchers (2): Kevin Plawecki, Christian Vázquez
Infielders (5): Christian Arroyo, Xander Bogaerts, Bobby Dalbec, Rafael Devers, Travis Shaw
Outfielders (4): J.D. Martinez, Hunter Renfroe, Kyle Schwarber, Alex Verdugo
Infielder/Outfielders (2): Kiké Hernández, Danny Santana
Other notable elements of the 26-man ALDS roster announced by the Red Sox on Thursday morning:
• Lefthander Chris Sale, who was not on the Wild Card roster, was added for the ALDS. He’s expected to start Game 2.
• Righthanded reliever Matt Barnes was not among the 13 pitchers on Boston’s ALDS roster. While the 2021 All-Star was on the Wild Card roster, with more potential innings to cover in a five-game series – and with Eduardo Rodriguez and Nick Pivetta both starting rather than completely available out of the bullpen – Barnes, who struggled down the stretch and was used solely in lower-leverage situations, was left off the roster. Martín Pérez was added to the roster.
• With the Sox carrying 13 pitchers, the team had to reduce its position-playing group from 14 in the Wild Card game to 13 while also accommodating the return of Martinez. That reduction meant three players who were on the Wild Card roster were removed from the ALDS roster: third catcher Connor Wong, pinch-runner/outfielder Jarren Duran, and infielder Jonathan Araúz.
• In place of those three, in addition to Martinez, the Sox added super-utility player Danny Santana to the Division Series roster. Santana can serve as a pinch-runner while also offering positional insurance in both the infield and outfield – in essence, consolidating the roles of Duran and Araúz.
The Rays won the season series, 11-8. Julian McWilliams looks at how both teams match up.
RED SOX (92-70): Hernández CF, Schwarber DH, Bogaerts SS, Devers 3B, Renfroe RF, Verdugo LF, Dalbec 1B, Vázquez C, Arroyo 2B.
Pitching: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (13-8, 4.74 ERA)
RAYS (100-62): Arozarena OF, Franco SS, Lowe 2B, Cruz DH, Diaz 3B, Luplow 1B, Margot OF, Zunino C, Kiermaier OF.
Pitching: LHP Shane McClanahan (10-6, 3.43 ERA)
Time: 8:07 p.m.
TV, radio: FS1, WEEI
Red Sox vs. McClanahan: Jonathan Araúz 0-3, Xander Bogaerts 0-3, Bobby Dalbec 2-6, Rafael Devers 3-8, Kiké Hernández 2-6, J.D. Martinez 2-7, Kevin Plawecki 0-4, Hunter Renfroe 3-8, Kyle Schwarber 1-4, Alex Verdugo 0-1, Christian Vázquez 1-6
Rays vs. Rodriguez: Randy Arozarena 4-11, Mike Brosseau 1-3, Nelson Cruz 5-27, Yandy Díaz 7-17, Wander Franco 2-9, Kevin Kiermaier 1-12, Brandon Lowe 4-13, Jordan Luplow 2-6, Manuel Margot 4-12, Austin Meadows 1-10, Francisco Mejía 2-5, Taylor Walls 1-5, Joey Wendle 1-2, Mike Zunino 4-11
Stat of the day: Rodriguez has a 2.11 earned run average in his last five appearances and held opponents to a .638 OPS.
Notes: The Sox are 103-86-1 in postseason play. They are 22-15 in 37 postseason series, having gone 7-6 in 13 trips to the ALDS (23-25 in ALDS games) .… Rodriguez went 1-1 with a 4.71 ERA in four starts against the Rays this season. Overall, he is 2-4 with a 5.21 ERA in 13 career starts vs. Tampa Bay .… McClanahan, 24, is making his first playoff start. Last season he became the first pitcher to make his major league debut in the postseason, appearing in four games as a reliever and finishing with an 8.31 ERA in 4 1/3 innings