Five Red Sox players who shined, struggled in spring training


Spring training is in the books for the Boston Red Sox as they wrapped up their time in Fort Myers on Tuesday.

The Red Sox finished spring training with a 14-14-4 record after starting 9-0-3. They fell to the Atlanta Braves in Tuesday's Grapefruit League finale, 7-5.

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Boston will turn the page to the 2023 regular season Thursday when it hosts the Baltimore Orioles for Opening Day. First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. ET at Fenway Park.

Before the fun begins, here's a look at who impressed this spring and who will look to snap out of their slump when the regular season gets underway.

Who's hot

Jorge Alfaro, C: .478/.520/.870, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 6 SO (nine games)

The bad news for Alfaro is he did not make the major league roster out of spring training. It will be Reese McGuire and Connor Wong behind the dish for the Red Sox when the season begins. The good news is Alfaro made a compelling case to be called up if Wong scuffles. The 29-year-old represented Colombia at the World Baseball Classic and raked for Boston during his nine spring training games. We know what he's capable of with the bat, but he'll need to improve defensively during his time in the minors.

Triston Casas, 1B: .333/.381/.632, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 5 BB, 16 SO (20 games)

As if fans needed another reason to be excited about Casas' rookie campaign, the Red Sox' No. 2 prospect was arguably the club's best hitter of the spring. He showed off his impressive power and while the strikeout number was higher than he would have liked, it's clear he's ready for his first full season in The Show.

Adam Duvall, OF: .255/.350/.588, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 7 BB, 21 SO (20 games)

It was a rough start to the spring for Duvall, but you wouldn't know it by his final numbers. The former Braves and Miami Marlins outfielder, who signed a one-year deal during the offseason, caught fire over the last month to finish with a .938 OPS. if he stays healthy, he'll have a field day with the Green Monster this season.

Raimel Tapia, OF: .326/.383/.605, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 6 SO (17 games)

It looks like Tapia will make the Opening Day roster as former top outfield prospect Jarren Duran was optioned to Triple-A Worcester after Tuesday's game. It would be well-deserved. Tapia earned a roster spot with a spectacular spring in which he showed he can be a reliable outfield option off the bench.

Josh Winckowski, RHP: 1-1, 1.13 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 4 BB, 17 SO, 16 IP (five games)

Winckowski may have been Boston's best spring training pitcher and he was rewarded with a spot on the Opening Day roster. The 24-year-old will serve as a multi-inning reliever after spending the 2022 campaign as a spot starter. He posted a 5.89 ERA in 15 games (70.1 IP) last season.

Who's not

Tanner Houck, RHP: 1-3, 9.74 ERA, 1.92 WHIP, 12 BB, 25 SO, 20.1 IP (six games)

The Red Sox will need much more out of Houck than what he showed this spring. The 26-year-old let up nine homers and struggled with his command as he walked 12 batters and plunked five. There's also an injury concern as he's coming off season-ending back surgery. He'll begin the season in the rotation as the club's No. 3 starter.

Nick Pivetta, RHP: 0-0, 6.11 ERA, 1.98 WHIP, 9 BB, 21 SO, 17.2 IP (five games)

Pivetta's starting pitching job is on the line. The 30-year-old righty was a workhorse last season (179.2 IP) but could wind up in the bullpen once Brayan Bello, Garrett Whitlock, and James Paxton are off the injured list. For now, he's in the rotation as the No. 5 starter.

John Schreiber, RHP: 6.30 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 5 BB, 12 SO, 10 IP (nine games)

Schreiber was the breakout star of the Red Sox bullpen a season ago, but he ran out of gas toward the end of the campaign and failed to find his groove in spring training. There should be less pressure on the 29-year-old with Chris Martin and Kenley Jansen now in the mix, but he'll be counted on to be another high-leverage option. Schreiber at least ended his spring on a high note by striking out the side in his one inning of work during Tuesday's finale.

Chris Martin, RHP: 6.43 ERA, 2.14 WHIP, 3 BB, 9 SO, 7 IP (seven games)

Martin was signed during the offseason as a proven veteran set-up man who can be a reliable bridge to Jansen in the ninth inning. Sox fans will hope he got his struggles out of his system this spring. The 36-year-old was knocked around for 12 hits and five runs in seven innings.

Ceddanne Rafaela, OF: .219/.235/.219, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 6 SO (16 games)

Rafaela, the organization's No. 4 prospect, probably won't be with the big-league club until at least next season as it's clear he still has some work to do offensively. The 22-year-old utility man was 7-for-32 at the plate with zero extra base hits in his 16 games. After earning 2022 Red Sox Minor League Player of the Year honors, Rafaela will look to pick up where he left off when he begins 2023 with Double-A Portland.

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