John Farrell

John Farrell just handed out his January lineup card

Rob Bradford
January 08, 2015 - 7:09 pm

Things change, and nothing is set in stone. But John Farrell is offering just enough information that we can at least surmise what the Red Sox' regular lineup might look like. Appearing on the Arbella Hot Stove Show Thursday night, Farrell handed out some explanations as to what he is thinking in regards to his lineup as we draw closer to spring training. Of note ... - He currently sees both Mookie Betts and Brock Holt as the most viable leadoff options. - While Rusney Castillo impressed in his role as a leadoff man while in Puerto Rico, the Red Sox manager wasn't leaning toward putting the outfielder at the top of the Sox's lineup to begin with. "I think what Mookie showed in the time that he was in the leadoff spot was very encouraging," Farrell said. "His on-base skills have been consistent at every level through the minor leagues. It was the same when he came to Boston. Brock Holt is another guy that could fit into that spot when he is in the lineup on a given day. I think in Castillo's case -- while he shows you that ability to steal a base, he has some, I think very good gap power and he swung the bat good for us in the 10 games that he played -- I think it is probably best that we bring him along maybe a little bit along the way. Maybe give him some at-bats, whether that is in the bottom third of the order, not to pin him into that spot, but I think that is the best way to acclimate him as we go forward." - Farrell likes the opportunity to go lefty-righty-lefty-righty in the middle of the order. That would put David Ortiz at No. 3, Hanley Ramirez hitting cleanup, Pablo Sandoval slotted in at No. 5 and Mike Napoli right behind the third switch-hitting third baseman. "The one thing that clearly stands out is we have balance left- and right-handed," the manager said. "I have always liked David in the three-hole. You know he is going to come up in the first inning. That puts Pedroia in that two hole that he feels most comfortable in, and probably has been the best spot for him over the course of his career. This is where when we were at our conversations -- and meetings prior to, or right after the season -- we were able to aquire both Ramirez and Sandoval. We thought we would be able to get one, the fact we were able to get two, certainly lengthens the lineup. I think Hanley gives David some protection behind him. Then you start to create some protection and we want to keep Sandoval on the left side of the plate as much as possible, so if you sandwich him in between Ramirez and Napoli you start to have a formidable middle of the order where you're going left-right-left-right all the way through there." In the aforementioned scenario, after Napoli that would leave Xander Bogaerts, followed by one of the outfielders (Castillo, Shane Victorino, Daniel Nava, Allen Craig) and finally a catcher (Christian Vazquez, Ryan Hanigan).