Resetting the Sox roster

With Bobby Valentine settling on the makeup of his rotation and the Sox sending catcher Ryan Lavarnway to Pawtucket, the opening day roster still has some uncertainty.

The biggest wrinkle came Sunday when Valentine made cryptic comments about an injury in the bullpen. All signs point to would-be closer Andrew Bailey, who has pitched only in one minor-league game in the past 10 days. Bailey had a strained lat muscle early in camp, and Valentine confirmed later Sunday that Bailey is dealing with an injured right thumb.

The uncertainty surrounding Bailey could lead Valentine to carry an extra arm in the bullpen. It had seemed infielders Pedro Ciriaco and Nate Spears and outfielder Jason Repko were the contenders for the final roster spot, but if the Sox decide they need a 13th pitcher instead, all three could be on the outside looking in.

With Jon Lester, Josh Beckett, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard set as starters and Alfredo Aceves, Mark Melancon, Matt Albers, Franklin Morales and Vicente Padilla seemingly locks in the bullpen, there could be slots for three more relievers if Bailey starts the season on the disabled list and Valentine opts for the extra arm, which Valentine said Sunday was a possibility.

Valentine said Aaron Cook is not an option for the bullpen, indicating pitching coach Bob McClure doesn't think Cook's shoulder would respond to that duty, leaving Cook to start the season at Pawtucket. That would seem to leave Scott Atchison, Michael Bowden and Justin Thomas possibilities to open the season in the Boston bullpen.

Valentine isn't expected to announce the makeup of the roster until Monday at the earliest. The Red Sox play the Nationals on Monday in Florida and Tuesday in Washington before opening the season Thursday at Detroit.