|(March 4, 2016 - Source: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images North America)|
Today will be the final game for the Red Sox in Florida, as they face the Minnesota Twins at 1:05 pm. The lineup that John Farrell is submitting for the final Spring Training game is being widely speculated as the same one that he'll use on Opening Day in Cleveland.
#RedSox 3/31 Lineup at MIN:— Boston Red Sox (@RedSox) March 31, 2016
Bradley Jr. CF
Red Sox v. Twins looks like your Opening Day nine: Betts RF, Pedroia 2B, Bogaerts SS, Ortiz DH, Ramirez, Shaw, Holt, Swihart, Bradley Jr.— Tim Britton (@TimBritton) March 31, 2016
Obviously the only definite in the lineup today who will not be on the field playing on Opening Day is Clay Buchholz, as he's the number 2 starter.
If we're going off of this as the lineup for Opening Day, I think as a Sox fan, you should be satisfied for a good amount of reasons:
- Pablo Sandoval is NOT the Opening Day third basemen.
- Travis Shaw and Brock Holt get starting spots that are well deserved.
- Rusney Castillo is NOT the Opening Day left fielder.
- Hanley Ramirez played well enough at least in the spring to get the start at first.
The biggest reason to be satisfied from this lineup is that it appears as though Farrell, and maybe behind the scenes Dave Dombrowski, is choosing performance level over money.
He's choosing Holt over Castillo. Why? Because Castillo has played himself out of a job by hitting .189 this spring. Holt was an All-Star last year and deserves to at least start after a great year last year.
He's choosing Shaw over Sandoval. Why? Because despite what the Red Sox are saying, and Henry saying he's at "17%" body fat, Pablo Sandoval showed up fat and out of shape: Shamu as I like to refer to him. And as I write this, it just got announced that he's OFFICIALLY starting the season riding the pine. Shaw had a monster second-half last year and up until recently, a great Spring as well.
And to this I say Thank God: it's about time Farrell did this.
In past years, Farrell's chosen guys due to seniority and how much they make. But with his job on the line this year, and his leash at its shortest, he must put out the best nine guys.
Or Dombrowski will gladly give him the boot and slot in Torey Lovullo.
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