Red Sox vs. Orioles lineups: Felix Doubront takes the mound

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox will finally turn to their true rotation, giving Felix Doubront the ball as they seek their first Grapefruit League win.

So far this spring the Red Sox have given Brandon Workman, Anthony Ranaudo, Allen Webster, and Rubby De La Rosa the ball to start their four games. Now, finally, an honest-to-God rotation member will get the call. Felix Doubront will be first up for the Red Sox Sunday afternoon as they go for their first Grapefruit League win against the Baltimore Orioles, and he'll come with plenty of backup.

Boston Red Sox (0-2)

  1. Jonny Gomes, LF
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. David Ortiz, DH
  4. Mike Napoli, 1B
  5. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  6. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
  7. David Ross, C
  8. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
  9. Bryce Brentz, RF

Starting Pitcher -- Felix Doubront

The Jonny Gomes leadoff experiment continues. It's not a role that makes much sense for Gomes, honestly. Against left-handed pitchers, he's the sort of bat you want in the meat of the order. Against right-handed pitchers, he's just not good at all. Perhaps the thought is that, if a right-handed reliever comes in and there's no lefty available off the bench, Gomes would at least not be stuck as a black hole in the heart of the productive part of the lineup. Even then, though, it's an odd placement, to the point where I'd hope Farrell feels uncomfortable with it before long.

The rest of the lineup, too, is similar to what we've seen in these starter-heavy orders. Pedroia - Ortiz - Napoli at 2-through-4 rather than 3-through-5, and Xander Bogaerts ahead of Will Middlebrooks. It remains to be seen if the former is just a placeholder while Shane Victorino gets ready to play, but it seems likely that, in that case, Farrell would have moved someone like Bryce Brentz into the second spot just for the purpose of pushing the others into their ultimate landing spots.

The most interesting man to watch, however, will indeed be the one on the mound. Felix Doubront has a history of coming into camp out of shape, but it's never really shown up in his spring training performances. This year, however, he's broken the trend. He's been ready to go from day one, and hopefully that will mean a big season for a young man who could really use a season where he finally puts it all together. He has, over the last two years, managed to take a rotation spot that he seemed to back into by default, and make it truly his to lose. But with so much competition, the standard for "losing" it is not so low as it might be on most other teams.

As for the competition...

Baltimore Orioles (2-0)

  1. Jemile Weeks, 2B
  2. Francisco Peguero, RF
  3. Delmon Young, DH
  4. Steve Pearce, 1B
  5. Nolan Reimold, LF
  6. Steve Clevenger, C
  7. Ivan DeJesus, SS
  8. Julio Borbon, CF
  9. Michael Almanzar, 3B

Starting Pitcher -- Brian Matusz

Yes, those are former Red Sox prospects Ivan DeJesus and Michael Almanzar. The Red Sox could do double-duty if they manage to keep Rule 5 draft pick Almanzar from hitting--the Orioles have to break camp with him, or give him back to the Red Sox.

The game will be broadcast live on NESN and the MLB Network at 1:05 p.m. EST.

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