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Red Sox vs. Yankees lineup: No respect for the rivalry in spring

It's Red Sox vs. Yankees! But not really...

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox and Yankees may be bitter rivals, but in spring that's not enough to get veterans on the bus for the trip to Tampa. Instead, it'll be the usual motley crew of backups joining Mookie Betts and Christian Vazquez, who are fast becoming the starting lineup's foreign ambassadors in 2015.

Boston Red Sox (5-2)

  1. Mookie Betts, CF
  2. Brock Holt, SS
  3. Allen Craig, DH
  4. Bryce Brentz, LF
  5. Daniel Nava, RF
  6. Christian Vazquez, C
  7. Garin Cecchini, 3B
  8. Travis Shaw, 1B
  9. Jeff Bianchi, 2B

Starting Pitcher -- Joe Kelly

Spring wins mean nothing, but the Red Sox have been on a nice little roll all the same, picking up five straight wins in the Grapefruit League. What's more, they've done so with some fairly stifling pitching performances. It's one thing to win games by clobbering guys who are more interested in working on specific pitches and mechanics than actually trying to get anyone out. Flipping that typical script is slightly more impressive, if still not to the point of being meaningful.

Oh, spring.

Of course, some of those pitching performances came against lineups not unlike this Red Sox order featuring Bryce Brentz in the cleanup spot and Christian "The Glove" Vazquez batting sixth. A typical Boston road lineup is surprisingly good this year, with both Daniel Nava and Allen Craig presenting realistic threats and Mookie Betts presumed to be the leadoff man for a very potent offense come April. But it's certainly not a major league quality 1-through-9 by any stretch of the imagination.

So it's Red Sox vs. Yankees, but it's not really Red Sox vs. Yankees. Not yet. That will wait for summer.

The good news is that the media will take what they can get in spring, and even fake Red Sox vs. Yankees is enough to fill air time at this point in the year. First pitch is at 1:05 p.m. with the MLB Network covering broadcast duties.