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Red Sox vs. Rays lineups: The return of Justin Masterson

Justin Masterson is back. May the baseball gods have mercy on us all.

Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Well, it's here. The moment you've all been waiting for dreading forced into accepting as an unfortunate reality by the brutal nature of this 2015 season. Justin Masterson is back in the starting rotation, even if it's perhaps just for one day only.

Mookie Betts - CF Asdrubal Cabrera - SS
Brock Holt - 2B Grady Sizemore - DH
Xander Bogaerts - SS Evan Longoria - 3B
David Ortiz - DH David DeJesus - LF
Pablo Sandoval - 3B Logan Forsythe - 2B
Mike Napoli - 1B Steven Souza - RF
Alejandro De Aza - LF Marc Krauss - 1B
Blake Swihart - C Brandon Guyer - CF
Jackie Bradley - RF Rene Rivera - C
Justin Masterson - RHP Chris Archer - RHP

There reasons why Justin Masterson is not fit to be a major league starter are many and varied and have been detailed so many times on this very site that there's not really much point to going over them again. Suffice it to say that it's a mistake to have him pitching here if it's for more than one game and done with any real expectation of success. As a one-off move to get Joe Kelly out of the rotation and perhaps better line up, say, Brian Johnson with Kelly's old rotation spot, it's hard to really care too much.

But if the Red Sox are viewing this as a legitimate chance for Masterson to earn his old rotation spot back? If it's that, it's the most damning piece of evidence that there's a few screws loose in the old front office. Hopefully after today, win or lose, they'll be on to more promising things, and those fears will be put to rest.

I say win or lose because it is possible for Justin Masterson to record outs in much the same way that Sandy Leon occasionally reaches base. He has had a couple reasonable outings this season. They're just the exceptions, and banking on exceptions is guaranteed to lead to misery at the end of the day.

First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.

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