Red Sox Roster Taking Shape, Carlos Marmol Released

Veteran reliever Carlos Marmol was released and shortstop Deven Marrero was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket as the Boston Red Sox continued to shape their Opening Day 25-man roster.

The Red Sox also announced that  pitchers Carson Smith, Brandon Workman and Eduardo Rodriguez; and catcher Christian Vazquez, would open the 2016 regular season on the disabled list. The club also reassigned Allen Craig, Josh Rutledge, Brennan Boesch, Dan Butler, Sandy Leon and Anthony Varvaro to minor league camp.

MarmolHoping to return to the majors for the first time since 2014, Marmol struggled with his control, walking seven in four spring training innings. The former closer has battled with control issues throughout his career. Though the Red Sox are seeking bullpen help with Smith opening the season on the DL, Marmol did not stand out with his walks to accompany a 6.75 ERA.

Closer Craig Kimbrel, and key set-up men Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa, are slotted to cover the late innings for Red Sox manager John Farrell. Smith is projected to fill an eighth inning role when he returns, which will likely be at some point in mid to late April. Left-handers Robbie Ross and Tommy Layne, and right-handers Matt Barnes and Noe Ramirez could occupy the remaining four spots in the Opening Day bullpen.

The Red Sox could acquire a reliever, and media reports indicate they are interested in Braves veteran right-hander Jason Grilli.

Knuckleballer Steven Wright, who is expected to serve as a long reliever when Rodriguez returns to the rotation, appears to be the favorite to open the season as the No.5 starter behind David Price, Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello and Joe Kelly. Left-hander Roenis Elias, who the Sox acquired from Seattle along with Smith for starting pitcher Wade Miley and minor leaguer Jonathan Aro last offseason, has struggled this spring and will likely open the year at Pawtucket.

The 25-year-old Vazquez, who continues to rehab from Tommy John surgery, will open the year at Pawtucket to build further strength and stamina. Considered one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, Vazquez has split time between DH and catcher this spring. The Red Sox have depth behind the plate with 23-year-old Blake Swihart and veteran Ryan Hanigan.

About the Author

Jeff Louderback
A former sports writer for a daily newspaper in Ohio, Jeff Louderback is a professional freelance writer, author and editor who lives in the midst of Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton. He writes baseball features for several publications, including prospect profiles for Baseball America. He served as the founder, editor and columnist for Sox and Pinstripes, a blog that covered the Red Sox and Yankees; and BoSox Banter, a site that covered the Red Sox, the Red Sox farm system and baseball-themed travel. Jeff is also the co-author of the life story of former Major League pitcher Brian Tollberg, whose inspirational story saw him rise from the University of North Florida and the independent Frontier League’s Chillicothe Paints to a climb up the minors in the Brewers and Padres systems before tasting success in the majors with the Padres. The book will be released in 2016.

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