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Red Sox vs. Reds: The replacements

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The Red Sox aren't exactly putting their best foot forward Wednesday afternoon. And...that might not be a bad thing.

Jim Rogash

It's time for day baseball in Cincinnati, as the Red Sox and Reds will finish up their two-game set early.

Today's Lineups

BOSTON RED SOX CINCINNATI REDS
Brock Holt - 2B Billy Hamilton - CF
Daniel Nava - RF Jay Bruce - RF
Yoenis Cespedes - LF Todd Frazier - 3B
Mike Napoli - 1B Devin Mesoraco - C
Kelly Johnson - 3B Brayan Pena - 1B
Xander Bogaerts - SS Kristopher Negron - 2B
Jackie Bradley - CF Skip Schumaker - LF
Dan Butler - C Zack Cozart - SS
Anthony Ranaudo - RHP Mike Leake - RHP

Hoo boy this lineup.

Granted, no David Ortiz and no Dustin Pedroia pretty much guarantees a mess with this team. It's also not necessarily a bad thing. I'm repeating myself here, but there are players who will benefit from getting more at bats in a meaningless August-September stretch, and there are those who have long since filled out their "major league experience" quota. Pedroia and Ortiz are absolutely the latter.

The issue is...well, there's Kelly Johnson, basically playing James Loney's role from 2012 while Will Middlebrooks sits. Dan Butler for Vazquez is just typical day game after night game stuff, but there's just not much point to Johnson. Maybe not a large quibble, just the latest small thing in a series of many, many small things.

First pitch is at 12:35 with broadcasts on NESN, WEEI, and the MLB Network.