It's safe to say that the Red Sox have a really good idea of who will be on their 25-man roster come Opening Day on April 1. However, the Red Sox did invite a bunch of Major League vets to their Spring camp. And there are definitely a few of them that are taking advantage of it.
Now, why is this important? For example, say this David Price injury is more serious than we all think. And he needs to spend a lot of time on the DL before his season debut is even a possibility. Do you really want Henry Owens, Brian Johnson, or Roenis Elias out there every fifth day in a year where the Sox certainly have World Series aspirations? I think not. So when the Sox bring these veterans in, it's definitely important that us fans keep their names in mind down the road.
1. Matt Dominguez - 3B - .231 average, 42 HR, 152 RBI, .6 WAR in 362 career games
Matt Dominguez definitely isn't one of those players where you'll say his name and everyone in the area will know who he is. But he's definitely one of those players you may see by the summer, despite not being on the 40-man roster. The 27-year-old third baseman has played bits and pieces of 5 seasons in the MLB, so he knows the territory a little bit. Now he's not an above-average hitter by any means, but he's no slouch over at third base (.969 career fielding percentage). And right now, the Red Sox starting 3rd baseman on April 3rd is Pablo Sandoval, who remains a HUGE question mark despite the solid start to his Spring. Not only performance-wise, but we also don't know how his surgically repaired shoulder will hold up over the course of this season. So say he goes down, we may be seeing Matt Dominguez get a shot to back up the third base position, presumably behind Brock Holt.
2. Kyle Kendrick - RHP - 81-81, 4.63 ERA, and 1281.0 IP in 253 career appearances
This is one pitcher that I, personally, have been keeping close tabs on this Spring. Over the course of his 9 seasons in the MLB, Kendrick has had some serious problems with the long ball, including a league-leading 33 home runs allowed in 2015 with the Rockies. Obviously that doesn't bode well for a pitcher trying to make the Boston Red Sox, with their home games being at Fenway Park, but Kendrick provides that veteran experience, as well as a World Series ring from back in 2008 with the Phillies. So far this Spring, Kendrick has gone 3 starts, allowing 3 ER in 9.0 IP, including 4 hitless innings against the Braves on Sunday afternoon. Kendrick is a contact pitcher, but he definitely could fill the role as this year's Sean O'Sullivan, who came up and went 2-0 with a 6.75 ERA in 5 appearances (4 starts) in 2016. And that's really what the Sox need. Not only to fulfill a rotational slot in case of injury, but it also gives the likes of Johnson, Owens, and Elias time to mature and develop to hopefully help this team down the road.
3. Rusney Castillo - OF - .262 average, 7 HR, 35 RBI, 1.7 WAR in 99 career games
Boy, what a waste of money Rusney Castillo has been so far. The 29-year-old outfielder signed a 7-year deal back in August of 2014, worth $72.5 million. A deal loaded with disappointment. However, like every Spring it seems, Castillo has been pretty good, currently sporting a .444 average (4-9) with an OPS of 1.056, as well as 2 RBI and a stolen base. He's also played a decent outfield. As of right now, the Red Sox have their outfield set in stone, as well as their 4th outfielder. But, there is a window of opportunity for Rusney to slide in as the 5th outfielder on the Sox roster. And down the road, we may see him if someone gets hurt.