Red Sox

McAdam: With little fanfare, Red Sox arrive at Opening Day bullpen mix

(Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images,

There was no big announcement from Alex Cora, or any sort of declaration, but with a few last-day-in-Florida cuts executed on Saturday morning, the Red Sox all but eliminated any mystery of what their bullpen is going to look like for at least the first week of the season.

Optioned to Pawtucket were Marcus Walden and Bobby Poyner -- two surprise members of the 2018 Opening Day roster -- while Darwinzon Hernandez was optioned to Double-A Portland.

And with that, barring some unanticipated roster claim or deal, the 2019 Red Sox bullpen was unofficially assembled. Or, at least, version 1.0.

There will be changes, of course, and probably before the team returns to Boston for its home opener. There's a good possibility Dustin Pedroia will have built up additional strength by then and be ready to be activated. That will necessitate one pitcher being trimmed from the bullpen since, without Pedroia, the Sox have opted to start the year with 13 pitchers and 12 position players. Pedroia's availability with flip that roster construct around.

For now, in addition to their five-man rotation, here are the eight relievers set to begin the season Thursday in Seattle: Matt Barnes, Ryan Brasier, Heath Hembree, Brandon Workman, Tyler Thornburg, Brian Johnson, Hector Velazquez and Colten Brewer.

If that group doesn't exactly fill you with confidence, you're not alone.

Here are a few things to keep in mind: