The Red Sox have released their Wild Card Game roster, announcing the 26 players who will take the field for Tuesday night’s pivotal matchup against the Yankees at Fenway Park.
J.D. Martinez was among those who was left off the roster, as the veteran slugger sprained his left ankle in Sunday’s regular season finale against the Nationals.
While running out to take right field in the fifth inning of Sunday’s contest, Martinez tripped over the second-base bag and twisted his ankle as a result. The 34-year-old was able to remain in the game for the bottom of the fifth, but was pinch-hit for by Jose Iglesias a half-inning later.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, an MRI on Martinez’s sprained ankle revealed no structural damage, which is certainly encouraging. Still, it was not enough to clear the four-time All-Star to return to action.
In addition to Martinez, the Sox also left the likes of left-handers Chris Sale, Darwinzon Hernandez, and Martin Perez and right-hander Hirokazu Sawamura off the roster.
Sale had started Sunday’s season finale in Washington, needing 62 pitches to get through 2 1/3 innings of work. The 32-year-old ace tried to convince Red Sox manager Alex Cora he would be available if needed on Tuesday, but that did not work out in his favor.
With Hernandez and Perez not making the cut, it was somewhat surprising to see that Josh Taylor is on the roster. The left-handed reliever last pitched on September 22, shortly before being placed on the 10-day injured list on account of a low back strain on Sept. 26.
Joining Taylor in the Boston bullpen for Tuesday’s Wild Card Game will be Eduardo Rodriguez and Nick Pivetta, both of whom pitched in relief of Sale in Sunday’s victory over the Nationals.
On the flip side of things, the Red Sox added three players to their roster who had ended the 2021 regular season with Triple-A Worcester in catcher Connor Wong, infielder Jonathan Arauz, and outfielder Jarren Duran.
Wong will serve as Boston’s third catcher behind starter Kevin Plawecki and Christian Vazquez, while Arauz will serve as infield depth who has major-league experience at second base, third base, and shortstop.
Duran, on the other hand, could come off the bench at any time, as he represents the top pinch-running option the Sox have to offer on account of his elite speed.
Jose Iglesias, who had primarily been playing second base since joining the Red Sox last month, was left off the club’s Wild Card Game roster since he was ineligible to play in the postseason after not signing with Boston until after the August 31 deadline.
Because of this, Christian Arroyo will get the start at second base as the Sox go up against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole on Tuesday night. Fellow righty Nathan Eovaldi will get the ball for Boston.
Pitchers (12): Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Austin Davis, Nathan Eovaldi, Tanner Houck, Adam Ottavino, Nick Pivetta, Garrett Richards, Hansel Robles, Eduardo Rodriguez, Josh Taylor, Garrett Whitlock
Catchers (3): Kevin Plawecki, Christian Vázquez, Connor Wong
Infielders (6): Jonathan Araúz, Christian Arroyo, Xander Bogaerts, Bobby Dalbec, Rafael Devers, Travis Shaw
Outfielders (4): Jarren Duran, Hunter Renfroe, Kyle Schwarber, Alex Verdugo
Infielder/Outfielders (1): Kiké Hernández
First pitch from Fenway Park is scheduled for 8:08 p.m. eastern time on ESPN.
(Picture of J.D. Martinez: Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)