Seventeen games into the 2021 season, you can be excused if you find yourself still trying to figure out who some of the players are on the Red Sox roster.
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Pitchers Garrett Richards (Angels), Adam Ottavino (Yankees), Hirokazu Sawamura (Japan), Matt Andriese (Angels), and Garrett Whitlock (rookie), are all new to the team. Nick Pivetta appeared in just three games for Boston in 2020.
New position players Marwin Gonzalez (Twins), Kike Hernandez (Dodgers), Franchy Cordero (Royals), and Hunter Renfroe (Rays) were all wearing different laundry last year.
So yeah, like the cliche says, you can't tell the players without a scorecard.
But what is proving to be a hallmark of the 2021 roster is the versatility of the players.
Marwin Gonzalez has played all four infield positions, plus left field. Despite being moved all over the field, he's made just one error in 60 chances.
Christian Arroyo has played both second and short and has yet to make an error in 41 chances. Kike Hernandez has played second and center with one error in 46 chances.
Alex Verdugo has played all three outfield positions while Hunter Renfroe has manned right and center. Both have yet to make an error.
So not only do you not recognize many of the players; you might not even know what position they're in on any given day.
With the caveat being that it's still very early in the season, two things are apparent - Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom did a nice job constructing the roster, and manager Alex Cora has done a masterful job of getting the team ready to play every night.
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