Bobby Dalbec

Bobby Dalbec will start the season with Triple-A Worcester, while Yu Chang will be on Boston’s Opening Day roster as a backup infielder. Elise Amendola/Associated Press

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Bobby Dalbec knew he was fighting for an Opening Day roster spot. He knew he might end up beginning the season at Triple-A Worcester even if he had a strong spring training camp. That doesn’t make the news any easier.

The Red Sox optioned the 27-year-old right-handed hitter to Worcester on Monday. Yu Chang made the club as Boston’s backup infielder.

“I thought I played really well,” Dalbec said Monday at JetBlue Park. “Defense, offense. A little lull the last 10, 15 at-bats maybe. But I felt like I still contributed every day on the base paths. Played hard. So I did all I can do. I think I controlled what I could. The rest isn’t up to me.”

Dalbec hit two homers, four doubles and two triples with an .814 OPS in 18 Grapefruit League games. He batted .324 with a .395 on-base percentage and .647 slugging percentage over his first 13 games. But he had just one hit in his final 17 at-bats, dropping his line to .235.304/.510/.814.

“I’m an everyday player in the major leagues, I think,” Dalbec said. “I’ve never not thought that. I never won’t think that. Obviously I want to help the team win any way I can. If that’s my role, I’ll embrace it. But in the grand scheme of things, I know I’m an everyday player in the big leagues.”

A natural corner infielder, Dalbec played shortstop for much of Grapefruit League play and will continue to get reps at multiple positions with the WooSox. Cora said Dalbec will play a lot of third base while also mixing in at the other three infield spots.


“It’s not easy, but one thing for sure, he’s not gonna stop working,” Cora said. “And that’s something we told him. From the get-go, he knew the situation.

“He’s going to be part of it at one point,” Cora added. “For us to accomplish the things that we are set to do, it’s more than 26 guys. Bobby’s still a good player. I think the at-bats are gonna help him. He’s just gotta be ready, and whenever we call his name, if we need it, just be ready to come here and contribute.”

Dalbec said it will be good for him to play every day

“Looking on the positive side, playing every day, playing every position and having fun,” Dalbec said. “I’m still going to have fun and play my game. There’s no bitterness or anything. Yeah, it sucks. I think I’ve played well enough to deserve a spot. I think they would agree with that, too. It’s just how (expletive) goes.”

Chang, who played 11 games for the Red Sox in September, re-signed on a one-year, $800,000 contract last month but did not report to camp until Thursday because he played for Chinese Taipei in the World Baseball Classic and then dealt with visa issues. He was named the Pool A MVP after going 7-for-16 (.438) with two doubles, two homers and eight RBIs in four games.

Chang has big league experience at all four infield spots and is considered a plus defender. He’ll begin the year in a backup role behind the starting infield of Casas, Christian Arroyo, Kiké Hernández and Rafael Devers.’


THE RED SOX reassigned veteran catcher Jorge Alfaro to minor league camp. Alfaro will report to Triple-A with Connor Wong making the team as part of a catching platoon with Reese McGuire.

Boston has two roster decisions left to make; one bullpen spot remains open and the club must choose between Raimel Tapia and Jarren Duran in a backup outfield role.

Alfaro’s minor league contract included an upward mobility clause, allowing him seek a major league opportunity somewhere else if the Red Sox didn’t give him one. That window is closed and he’ll remain with the organization.

Wong hasn’t appeared in a Grapefruit League game since March 2 because of a hamstring injury. But he’s in the lineup Monday after participating in minor league games Friday and Saturday.

Cora said Sunday he’s comfortable Wong will be ready for Opening Day despite his lack of at-bats and innings caught in Grapefruit League games.

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