BOSTON (CBS) — J.D. Martinez is back on the Red Sox roster for the ALDS against the Rays, but he is not in Boston’s Game 1 lineup.
Martinez will get at least another night off with the sprained left ankle that kept him out of Tuesday’s Wild Card win over the New York Yankees. He injured his ankle when he tripped over second base while taking the field in Sunday’s regular season finale against the Washington Nationals.
Ahead of Tuesday’s Wild Card game, Boston manager Alex Cora said that Martinez’s ankle had ballooned up, keeping him out of the lineup. Cora said Thursday that Martinez would take batting practice ahead of Game 1 and should be able to pinch-hit if needed. The Sox skipper sounded optimistic that Martinez would be able to DH in Friday night’s Game 2.
For the season, Martinez slashed .286/.349/.518 with 28 homers, 43 doubles and 99 RBIs. He hit just .266 with one homer in 19 games against the Rays, but hit seven doubles and drove in 16 runs.
Here is Boston’s lineup for Game 1 against the Rays:
1. Kiké Hernández, CF
2. Kyle Schwarber, DH
3. Xander Bogaerts, SS
4. Rafael Devers, 3B
5. Hunter Renfroe, RF
6. Alex Verdugo, LF
7. Bobby Dalbec, 1B
8. Christian Vázquez, C
9. Christian Arroyo, 2B
— Eduardo Rodriguez, SP
Hernandez is back in the leadoff spot for Boston, switching spots with Schrwarber, who led off Tuesday’s Wild Card win.
The other big news coming from Boston’s ALDS roster announcement is that reliever Matt Barnes, who struggled for much of the second half of the season, is not part of the bullpen for the series.
Here is Boston’s full ALDS roster against Tampa Bay:
Pitchers (13): Ryan Brasier, Austin Davis, Nathan Eovaldi, Tanner Houck, Adam Ottavino, Martín Pérez, Nick Pivetta, Garrett Richards, Hansel Robles, Eduardo Rodriguez, Chris Sale, Josh Taylor, Garrett Whitlock
Catchers (2): Kevin Plawecki, Christian Vázquez
Infielders (5): Christian Arroyo, Xander Bogaerts, Bobby Dalbec, Rafael Devers, Travis Shaw
Outfielders (4): J.D. Martinez, Hunter Renfroe, Kyle Schwarber, Alex Verdugo
Infielder/Outfielders (2): Kiké Hernández, Danny Santana
Barnes was an All-Star for the first time this season after he was one of the best closers in the game during the first half of the season. But he lost his command and was hit hard after the break, sporting a 6.48 ERA in the second half. He lost his job as Boston’s closer and only took the mound in low-pressure situations, but still struggled. In 11 appearances in August, Barnes allowed 10 runs off 12 hits and six walks over just 6.2 innings.
Cora has juggled his bullpen since Barnes’ demotion, and is essentially going with a closer-by-committee approach based on matchups.
First pitch for Thursday night’s Game 1 is set for 8:07 at Tropicana Field.