This afternoon marks second to last Spring Training split squad day for the Red Sox, and it is an odd one in that the Sox will be the visiting team in both.
Demarlo Hale and his "A" squad, led by Jon Lester,don't have far to travel as they'll be playing the Twins in Fort Myers.
Meanwhile, Francona and his rag-tag group of prospects and Laser cannons will be heading to Kissimmee to do battle with our old buddies Millsy and Bill Hall and their Astros.
Because there's a lot, lineups are after the jump:
Thanks to Extra Bases for the lineups.
Hale will be taking the majority of the starters in what is a clearly strategic attempt to take hold of the Mayor's Cup for yet another year.
RED SOX (7-6-1)
Pitching: LHP Jon Lester, RHP Tim Wakefield, LHP Hideki Okajima, RHP Tony Pena Jr. RHP Alex Wilson, RHP Jason Rice.
Pitching: LHP Brian Duensing, RHP Jeff Manship, RHP Pat Neshek.
Salty is also due to appear for a couple of at bats later in the game. Crawford is batting #2 for the second day in a row. Shouldn't be long until the Sox start making their first cuts and we start seeing more playing time by the regulars as well as lineups that look more like opening day.
Several hours away, Francona will be fielding this squad:
RED SOX (7-6-1)
Pitching: RHP Kyle Weiland, RHP Dan Wheeler, LHP Dennys Reyes, LHP Rich Hill, RHP Clevelan Santeliz, RHP Michael Bowden, RHP Matt Albers.
Pitching: RHP Brett Myers.
A sweep of the day could finally bring our heroes into a respectable spot in the all-important Grapefruit League standings. In Fort Myers, we have Lester preparing for what we hope is a Cy Young-type year, whereas Kissimmee will be featuring Klye Weiland, whose presence starting games in major league Spring Training still confuses me. I have to think some success would be good for his confidence.
Remember, in three weeks from now we get actual real baseball that we get to care about. Can't hardly wait.
Let there be baseball.