7 Questions for the Red Sox as they Count Down to Opening Day

The Red Sox are less than a week away from kicking off the new MLB season with their opening day game against the Seattle Mariners. With that in mind, here are seven questions surrounding the Sox as they gear up for the campaign ahead:

  1. When and where will Jordan Montgomery sign?

The Red Sox have a week left to decide on whether or not to tender Montgomery a contract for the upcoming season. With the team recently acquiring starter Noah Syndergaard to add to their rotation, the need for another starter is not as urgent now. That said, Montgomery is still without a team and it seems unlikely that he will settle for a deal less than what he is hoping for. He may be willing to wait until the season starts to ensure he gets the best offer possible.

  1. Is Ceddanne Rafaela ready to start in CF?

Rafaela has had an impressive spring training with the Red Sox. The team seems very keen to have him develop his plate discipline further before promoting him to the big league club, but he is proving himself to be a valuable hitter as well as an elite defender. The Sox may not have any other options at this point and will have to let Rafaela take the plunge and figure things out as he goes.

  1. Will any Red Sox players opt-out?

The Red Sox have a few players on minor-league contracts that could opt-out if they are not added to the 40-man roster. These include first baseman C.J. Cron, catcher Roberto Perez, right-hander Michael Fulmer, and lefty Joely Rodriguez. The team has no room for error when it comes to their pitching staff this year, so it would not be surprising if they prioritized that, and therefore Rodriguez could be the most likely to opt-out.

  1. Is Kutter Crawford the No. 3 starter?

All signs point to Crawford being the No. 3 starter behind Chris Sale and Brayan Bello. He has had a very strong spring and showed brilliant form for periods during the 2023 season. However, the Red Sox have plenty of options when it comes to pitching, so they will feel confident in plugging whoever performs best into that slot.

  1. What happened with Shohei Ohtani's translator?

This is a very interesting development that has come out of the Los Angeles Dodgers camp. It has been revealed that Ohtani's interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, has been fired due to allegations of "massive theft" of the superstar's money. It is alleged that Mizuhara stole millions of dollars from Ohtani and was involved in illegal gambling. This is a developing story that will be worth keeping an eye on.

  1. Can Connor Wong stay hot?

Wong is hitting .433 entering Thursday with a 1.302 OPS, two home runs, and eight batted in over 12 games. The Red Sox will be hoping he can maintain at least some of this momentum when the games start to count because as it stands, they have no other options at catcher with Roberto Perez also unlikely to make the team.

  1. Is being Opening Day starter meaningless?

This is somewhat of a case-by-case scenario. It would have meant a lot to Chris Sale, who was also pitching on his birthday, in what was his first healthy start to the season since 2019. However, the decision to start Corey Kluber was a surprise to many. For Bello, it will be a very meaningful moment for the fourth-youngest opener in team history and especially significant for an organization that has struggled to develop elite homegrown starting pitching.

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