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Red Sox vs. Twins lineup: Starting infield travels for Red Sox Grapefruit League opener

It's Grapefruit League time for the Red Sox, who will play their first real fake game of the year against the Twins Thursday night.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox will kick off their Grapefruit League schedule--and the Mayor's Cup--Thursday night against the Twins. And they'll do so with the full starting infield making the shortest of trips to Hammond Stadium:

Boston Red Sox (0-0)

  1. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
  4. Mike Napoli, 1B
  5. Allen Craig, LF
  6. Bryan LaHair, DH
  7. Bryce Brentz, RF
  8. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
  9. Christian Vazquez, C

Starting Pitcher -- Joe Kelly

It's a pretty good "road" showing for those Sox fans who made the trip to Fort Meyers for spring training, as well as for those enjoying the first televised game of the year.

There's not a whole lot to glean from this lineup even compared to most spring batting orders. Xander Bogaerts might find his way into the leadoff spot in some few scenarios, and it makes sense to get him a look or two up there while the outfielders are out of the lineup, but this is hardly a sign that Mookie Betts is being challenged for the position just yet. Ditto Pablo Sandoval in the third spot. His bat will be better in Fenway, but David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez are almost certainly locked in at 3-4.

The only placement that seems to be real concessions to the likely lineup on Opening Day and beyond (excepting Pedroia at number two as working both for this lineup and those in April) is Christian Vazquez batting ninth. All due respect to Bryan LaHair, but at bats are likely better spent on Boston's rookie catcher. But given that players don't even play all nine innings this early in spring, it's not really going to make much of a difference either way.

First pitch is at 7:05 p.m. EST with the MLB Network handling broadcasting duties.