When you have the highest team OPS in the American League, arguably the top young outfield in baseball and a rotation spearheaded by David Price, Rick Porcello and Chris Sale, it will be tough to find depth pieces in your organization.
Admittedly, the Red Sox have ran into this problem this offseason. Last year, their depth was — at times — putrid, and this offseason it appears as though they have not done much to make it any better. It’s not a lack of trying though.
FOX Sports spoke to Dave Dombrowski and essentially, he said it’s tough for his team to attract players on MiLB deals because of how talented the major league club is. Humble brag? Eh. Maybe. But it really does look like it’s the truth.
The PawSox outfield next season could very well be Rusney Castillo, Allen Craig and Junior Lake. Steve Selsky was a solid outfield depth addition, so that helps.
Henry Owens (88 mph fastball, minimal command) is on their short list of starting pitching call-up options (thank your deity of preference here that the Red Sox will probably have six MLB caliber starters on their big league roster), and their most experienced bullpen call-up option is Brandon Workman, who struggled to get guys out for the Lowell Spinners and Portland Sea Dogs last season. Plus, let’s be honest, was Workman ever even that good?
Friggin Kelly Johnson took him deep!
Friend of mine even saw a New York-Penn Leaguer take Workman deep last year. Sad.
Sure, the Red Sox did sign Kyle Kendrick, but he was a 4.63 career ERA pitcher in the National League. I’m sure that would go over fantastically at Fenway Park.
Oh, and WEEI made a great point: even if Castillo is playing well and the Sox need a replacement outfielder, the chances they go over the luxury tax threshold and call him up aren’t good. They didn’t do it for Edwin Encarnacion, why would they do it for one of the more flawed baseball players we’ve ever seen?
Luckily, waiver claims are a thing. The Red Sox are also going to have to hope their AAA guys can miraculously outperform their projections and their big league team stays healthy. Come July though, waiver claims will probably save them a few times.
Spots where depth seems most troublesome: third base, catcher, bullpen.
One last quick point, Heath Hembree and Bryce Brentz are both out of MiLB options. Brentz is likely a goner but maybe the Sox swing Hembree onto the big league roster and put a guy like Matt Barnes in Triple-A to start the season just so their lack of depth doesn’t kill them.