First baseman and outfielder Steve Selsky is the 25th man on the Red Sox to begin the season.
Sox manager John Farrell said that spot on the roster will be “fairly fluid,” per the Boston Herald’s Steve Buckley, who reported the news of Selsky’s addition Saturday.
John Farrell says Steve Selsky has landed 25th spot on roster that will be "fairly fluid" in the early going. #RedSox— Steve Buckley (@BuckinBoston) April 1, 2017
A 27-year-old claimed off waivers from the Reds in January, Selsky’s a right-handed hitter who can play the outfield as well as first base. He had a strong spring, hitting .356 in 45 at-bats, but had already been optioned to the minor leagues.
Health situations changed the Sox’ mind.
Starting first baseman Mitch Moreland is dealing with the flu and his strength and readiness for the season is unclear. Combined with Hanley Ramirez’s lack of time at first base because of a sore throwing shoulder and Josh Rutledge’s sore hamstring, the Sox needed some help.
Selsky wasn’t the only one who could give it to them, but he had experience at first base, whereas the other did not.
Infielder Marco Hernandez, who had a great spring (.377) but has never played first base, was optioned on Saturday, before the Red Sox played their final exhibition of the spring, against the Washington Nationals at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
The fact the Sox went with Selsky suggests more confidence in their third-base situation right now and Pablo Sandoval than their first-base situation. Both Sandoval and Moreland may be best suited to platoons, but the fact the Sox are carrying an extra first baseman makes clear they have more concern for Moreland.
Selsky’s father, Steve, played in the minors for the Dodgers and White Sox organizations. His mother, Lou Ann, played Olympic volleyball.