But both Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury are on the mend and making their way back to Fenway Park. Having both players back will boost the Boston lineup and could have a major impact on the shape of the roster for the rest of the season.
Solid contributors such as Daniel Nava, Scott Podsednik and Ryan Kalish could all find themselves on the chopping block thanks to the return of such All-Star talent. But due to each player's contributions over the past few months, Bobby Valentine will likely have a very difficult decision to make after the All-Star break.
What the Red Sox should do with the outfield was just one of many questions that NESN Red Sox broadcaster Don Orsillo fielded in his weekly mailbag. Take a gander below, and see what Orsillo thinks of Boston's roster moving forward.
When will we see Andrew Bailey pitch?
— Shawn Hackett
Late July/early August would be my guess. He needs to get seven or eight appearances, and I think that will take a few weeks, barring any setbacks. He also needs a few back-to-back outings and will likely not push it in the beginning. When he returns, it will be very interesting to see what the Red Sox do. I have always felt he should return to the closer role and that Alfredo Aceves would be great in the eighth inning. My point is, Aceves can adjust, while I am not sure Bailey can. We will find out, though. Bobby Valentine was asked about it Monday and was non-committal either way.
From your observations, how has the dynamic between Bobby Valentine and the team progressed so far this season, and what further developments do you expect to see?
— Jenn Stauffer
I think everybody is getting used to Bobby's style. I think the experience for all parties was very different from the way Terry Francona did things over the previous eight years. I think anytime you have a new manager come in with a group of veterans, there is always going to be a period of time of give and take. All in all, I think the transition has started to settle in. The players are starting to get to know the way Bobby works, and Bobby is getting to know his players. I imagine he never thought he would have to get to know so many with the roster changing daily due to all the injuries.
What do the Sox do with all the upcoming roster moves that will be needed? Six-man rotation? More outfielders designated for assignment?
— Neil Axelrod
The outfield will be tough to predict. The guys who are on the bubble are all undeserving of designation because of how well they have performed when the Red Sox were most in need. Scott Podsednik, Daniel Nava and Ryan Kalish all have been impressive. Obviously, not all can stay when Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury return, though. Those who have options will be the first to go, I would think, because of the ease to make the move. The six-man rotation seems to be in place through the break, especially with a day-night doubleheader against the Yankees on Saturday in the mix. Beyond that, I do not know, and Bobby Valentine has not announced a rotation beyond the break.
What possible deals do you think will be made from this date to the deadline?
— Garrett Watt
I think very little if anything. Health for some of the Red Sox key players will be like acquiring players. Andrew Bailey, Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford — those are all great additions, without giving anything up. The team you built in January will finally have a chance to play together, and that should be enough. The bullpen is much stronger than I thought, and the dynamic of the offensive lineup will soon be bolstered with the added element of speed. So, I really expect very little. The only thought I have is the surplus of outfielders you now have may bring you some prospects for the future.
Which park has the best hot dog in baseball today?
— Michael Steinberg
Interesting that you should ask. I had one last evening. I am big fan, aside from the Fenway Frank, of the dogs here in Oakland. An honorable mention has to go to the footlong Dodger dog in L.A. The only problem is we spend such little time at Dodger Stadium.