The Red Sox begin the 2023 season with a six-game homestand before heading on the road for the next seven. The 162-game season is a long, grueling one that can be somewhat of a rollercoaster bringing lots of ups and downs and twists and turn.
After a last-place finish in 2022 and losing Xander Bogaerts to the San Diego Padres, the Red Sox have questions and holes to fill. Did they address them all? Only time will tell.
These five Red Sox players, in no particular order, have something to prove this season.
The new outfielder for the Red Sox will be entering his first major league season after playing the last seven in Japan. Yoshida received high scouting reports from former MLB players while playing in Japan.
The left-handed hitter had a successful World Baseball Classic driving in a tournament record 13 RBIs and belting two home runs over seven games.
Signing a five-year contract worth a reported $90 million will put the 29-year-old under a microscope to perform in the big leagues.
Manager Alex Cora put the right fielder in the forefront when he named Verdugo as a player that needs to step up in 2023.
Verdugo ended the 2022 campaign as one of the more consistent batters for Boston, but with the hole on offense left by Bogaerts, he will need to build on the .282 batting average.
Hopefully, the tough love from Cora will help Verdugo show his true potential at the plate and in the field.
Hernández is in a unique situation because he missed a chunk of last season due to an injury that kept him out of the Red Sox lineup for 60 games.
His absence was felt in the outfield last season, and as the center fielder transitions to shortstop, he will have big cleats to fill for the departed Bogaerts.
Hernández is thrilled with the opportunity and will look to silence any naysayers regarding his ability.
Like Hernández, Duvall is another versatile player that Cora can put in a variety of positions on the field. With Hernández moving to shortstop, Duvall will take over center field.
The main question surrounding Duvall is whether or not the nine-year veteran can swing the bat as he did prior to the torn sheath tendon in his left wrist that ended his 2022 season.
The right-handed hitting Duvall, when healthy, should play well with the Green Monster.
The young first baseman will start the season on the Opening Day roster after having a stellar spring training where he hit 18-for-50 with three home runs and five doubles.
He set a goal for himself prior to this season of playing 150 games or more, and if the 23-year-old can find the ball at the plate more consistently, he might have an argument for American League Rookie of the Year.
The Red Sox will host the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. ET. You can watch the game, plus 90 minutes of pregame coverage, on NESN.