When the Red Sox announced their initial roster pool for the resumption of major-league spring training, or ‘Summer Camp,’ on Sunday, many were surprised that no top prospects outside of Bobby Dalbec made the cut.
Instead, 47 players were added to Boston’s initial pool, meaning there are still up to 13 open slots that can be filled.
Out of the 47 players already on the list, 37 are on the Sox’ 40-man roster, while 10 are non-roster invitees.
Veteran backstop Jonathan Lucroy was not included in the initial pool of players, but he is expected to report to training camp at Fenway Park this week once some procedural things with his contract are finalized.
So, if you account for Lucroy, the Red Sox, led by chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom and Co., still have 12 available spots to play with if they so choose.
Many clubs across baseball have already invited their most touted prospects to their respective training camps, with some even including their first-round picks from this year’s draft.
According to Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke, it’s not out of the realm of possibilities for the Sox to go down this avenue of roster construction in the coming weeks. That all depends how many players in the initial pool test positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.
“We had a lot of conversations about this and the right way to do it,” Roenicke told reporters via a Zoom call earlier Monday. “Do you bring in some of your top prospects that you really don’t want to miss a season? And then you talk about, ‘Well, what happens if we get five or six guys that all of a sudden come in and test positive for the virus? So how do we best fill these 60 spots with what will help us not only this year but next year also?”
Added the former Brewers manager: “We think the testing part is critical to this. If we all get through this testing part clean, and we don’t have some cases or at least not many (positive tests), then they feel like they can proceed with how we’re going to go with the next spots that are open on that 60 list. And I thought it was a really smart way to do this. And I know there’s a couple guys that I talked about, that I got to see in spring training that I thought, these are great looking players. They’re not ready for our team yet but those are guys that I really would like to play and get experience this year so they’re not set back for next year and we don’t lose them for really a year.”
With those potential 12 spots to play with, the Red Sox could add touted prospects such as Jeter Downs, Triston Casas, Bryan Mata, Jarren Duran, Marcus Wilson, Tanner Houck, Durbin Feltman and Thad Ward to their training camp pool.
Personally, after what he did in the spring, I believe Duran more than likely deserves one of those spots.
Going back to that part about clubs adding their 2020 first-round draft choices, could it be possible that the Sox include Nick Yorke, or maybe even third-rounder Blaze Jordan in their training camp pool if the two are able to sign with the team relatively soon? That would be quite the experience for two kids fresh out of high school, I would have to think.