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Red Sox vs. Yankees lineups: Mike Napoli rides again

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It's two straight starts now for Mike Napoli, whose position with the team is hard to figure out right now.

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Napoli will get a second straight start Saturday night after being benched for the better part of a week as the Red Sox take on the Yankees.

NEW YORK YANKEES BOSTON RED SOX
Jacoby Ellsbury - CF Mookie Betts - CF
Brett Gardner - LF Brock Holt - 2B
Alex Rodriguez - DH Xander Bogaerts - SS
Mark Teixeira - 1B David Ortiz - DH
Chris Young - RF Hanley Ramirez - LF
Chase Headley - 3B Pablo Sandoval - 3B
John Ryan Murphy - C Mike Napoli - 1B
Didi Gregorius - SS Alejandro De Aza - RF
Rob Refsnyder - 2B Ryan Hanigan - C
Ivan Nova - RHP Eduardo Rodriguez - LHP

Obviously the reintroduction of Mike Napoli to the lineup did not produce a positive result against Michael Pineda Friday night, but Mike Napoli did at least manage a hit (and getting hit, for that matter), which is apparently enough to earn him another start.

One wonders--fears?--if John Farrell was looking for an excuse to keep Mike Napoli around, and how much leash that one hit got him. Obviously it's a tiny drop in a pretty empty bucket. But what, if anything, could Mike Napoli have shown in one game to make the Red Sox give him a full-fledged second chance after the performance that led to him being removed from the lineup for nearly a week. Would he be in the lineup again tonight after an 0-for? Will a single 0-for be enough to see him out of the lineup for the series finale? If he goes 3-for-11, say, in total, are the Red Sox really heading into the second half of the season with Mike Napoli as the starting first baseman?

It all just feels strange. But it's also so much background noise right now while Clay Buchholz' health is in the air, and this all-important New York series is off to an 0-1 start.

First pitch is at 7:15 p.m. ET with broadcasts on FOX and WEEI.