Red Sox Spring Training Delight – 4/1

We are getting closer and closer to the season and finally the 2012 roster for the Boston Red Sox is starting to take shape.

Earlier in the week, we learned that Mike Aviles would be the starting shortstop as Jose Iglesias was sent to Triple-A Pawtucket. This left just finding out who the fourth and fifth guys in the rotation as well as the 25th man on the roster.

With all four in the rotation competition pitching this week, Alfredo Aceves, Daniel Bard, Aaron Cook and Felix Doubront, it was thought that we would learn the final two yesterday. Instead, Bobby Valentine elected to wait until today to announce his rotation since he hadn’t had time to talk with all the parties involved.

So without further adieu, here is your 2012 Boston Red Sox starting rotation:

  1. Jon Lester
  2. Josh Beckett
  3. Clay Buchholz
  4. Felix Doubront
  5. Daniel Bard

Really no surprises here. I’ve said all along that Aceves is better suited from the Red Sox bullpen given his versatility. Cook most likely wasn’t ready yet as he hasn’t gotten to where the others are as far as pitch count.

I’m guessing here that Doubront is the 4th starter and Bard the 5th because Valentine didn’t want to throw lefties (Doubront, Lester) on consecutive days. I’d also like to think that if Doubront or Bard struggle, the Red Sox will give Cook a chance or even bump Aceves into the rotation.

The bullpen, while not officially announced, looks like it’ll be Andrew Bailey, Mark Melancon, Aceves, Matt Albers, Franklin Morales, Michael Bowden and either Scott Atchison or Vicente Padilla. If it ends up being Padilla, the Red Sox would have to make a move on the 40-man roster since he was a non-roster invitee.

It also appears that the 25th spot on the roster is coming down to Pedro Ciriaco, Nate Spears and Jason Repko.

All of them bring a different dynamic to the team but I’m guessing it’ll be Ciriaco based on his speed. He’s now scored from second base on sacrifice bunts twice this season and that’s something Valentine likes. The one thing to remember though is that more than likely the 25th man on the team will also be the one to go when Carl Crawford returns from his wrist injury in late April/early May.

Finally, if you thought Ryan Lavarnway would start the season in Boston, your guess would have been wrong. He was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket this morning. Something tells me though that it won’t be long before he’s in Boston to stay.

To see today’s lineups, as well as the links from the media, please click on the read more button below if you’re on the home page.

After tying the Tampa Bay Rays 7-7 yesterday, the Red Sox return to JetBlue Park to host their spring training cross-town rivals, the Minnesota Twins. The Mayor’s Cup is on the line as the Red Sox hold a 3-2 lead and a win would give them the title after losing it last year.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. and the game will be broadcast in the Red Sox television market on NESN. You can also listen to the game on your radio at 680 AM WRKO.

Here are today’s lineups:

Minnesota Twins Boston Red Sox
1. Denard Span CF 1. Jacoby Ellsbury CF
2. Jamey Carroll SS 2. Dustin Pedroia 2B
3. Chris Parmalee DH 3. Adrian Gonzalez 1B
4. Ryan Doumit C 4. Kevin Youkilis 3B
5. Danny Valencia 3B 5. David Ortiz DH
6. Sean Burroughs 1B 6. Cody Ross LF
7. Luke Hughes 2B 7. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
8. Trevor Ploufee RF 8. Ryan Sweeney RF
9. Ben Revere LF 9. Mike Aviles SS
Carl Pavano SP Vicente Padilla SP

Padilla will be followed by RHP Scott Atchison, LHP Justin Thomas

Pavano will be followed by RHP Alex Burnett, LHP Matt Maloney, RHP Jared Burton and RHP Casey Fien.

MORE LINKS WILL BE ADDED BEFORE GAMETIME IF/WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE AND WILL BE BOLDED

To open the links up in a new tab or window, use Control+click

His voice still carries [Boston Globe]

Pitch calls to be revealed today [Boston Globe]

Fenway Park is part of us all [Boston Globe]

Ranking the major league managers [Boston Globe]

Chasing his chance [Boston Herald]

Red Sox’ minor attraction [Boston Herald]

Round barrier broken [Boston Herald]

Bobby Valentine to deliver rotation [Boston Herald]

Why the Red Sox took so long to decide on their starters [Rob Bradford - WEEI.com]

Ben Cherington on the Red Sox spring: “We feel good about it and also feel it’s not perfect” [Clubhouse Insider]

Bobby Valentine: Daniel Bard is No. 5 starter, Alfredo Aceves unhappy with bullpen assignment, mystery injury concern in bullpen [Clubhouse Insider]

Closer Andrew Bailey now has thumb injury, Opening Day in jeopardy [Clubhouse Insider]

Daniel Bard hopes lessons learned from spring struggles lead to regular season success [Clubhouse Insider]

Doubront, Bard named to starting rotation [CSN New England]

Battle for final roster spot continues for Red Sox [CSN New England]

Cherington: Crawford ‘continues to progress’ [CSN New England]

Little change in roster, big change in culture [CSN New England]

Source: Bailey bothered by thumb injury [CSN New England]

Takeaways: Roster spot roulette [ESPN Boston]

Doubront, Bard in rotation; concern for Bailey? [Extra Bases]

Lavarnway to Pawtucket but roster not complete [Extra Bases]

Questions about Andrew Bailey’s health as Red Sox set rotation [Full Count]

Felix Doubront Named Red Sox’ No. 4 Starter, Calls Bobby Valentine’s Decision ‘The Best News’ [NESN.com]

Jason Repko Eyeing Utility Role on Red Sox Roster After Impressive Spring [NESN.com]

Alfredo Aceves Not Happy With Bobby Valentine’s Decision to Put Him Back in Bullpen, According to Red Sox Skipper [NESN.com]

Injury Questions Surround Andrew Bailey After Bobby Valentine Discusses ‘Health Situation’ in Red Sox Bullpen [NESN.com]

Prospect destinations: Ranaudo to Portland, Boegarts and Bradley Jr. to Salem [Projo Sox Blog]

Felix Doubront the No. 4 starter, Daniel Bard the No. 5 [Projo Sox Blog]

Lavarnway optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket [Projo Sox Blog]

Valentine hints at “health situation” in bullpen [Projo Sox Blog]

Red Sox poised to regain prominence on farm [RedSox.com]

Red Sox’s final roster spot up for grabs [RedSox.com]

Lester tunes up for Opening Day start [RedSox.com]

Red Sox talk to Cubs about Carpenter’s injury [RedSox.com]

Doubront, Bard round out Red Sox rotation [RedSox.com]

For more slices of Red Sox goodness, head over to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, CSN New EnglandESPN Boston, NESN, Providence Journal, RedSox.com and WEEI websites.

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