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Red Sox vs. Marlins lineup: David Ortiz reprises role at first

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David Ortiz is at first once again, as the Red Sox continue to phase Mike Napoli out of the lineup.

Rich Gagnon/Getty Images

David Ortiz is back at first base Wednesday night, marking the third straight game the Red Sox have kept Mike Napoli on the bench.

MIAMI MARLINS BOSTON RED SOX
Dee Gordon - 2B Mookie Betts - CF
Christian Yelich - LF Brock Holt - 2B
Adeiny Hechavarria - SS Xander Bogaerts - SS
Justin Bour - 1B David Ortiz - 1B
Mike Morse - DH Hanley Ramirez - DH
Derek Dietrich - 3B Pablo Sandoval - 3B
J.T. Realmuto - C Shane Victorino - RF
Cole Gillespie - CF Alejandro De Aza - LF
Ichiro Suzuki - RF Ryan Hanigan - C
Tom Koehler - RHP Rick Porcello - RHP

One wonders at this point what motivation the Sox have for keeping Napoli on the roster. It's not like they don't have anything to do with a spot on both the 40- and 25-man rosters. I mean, this is the team with just three decent starting pitchers while a top-50 pitching prospect languishes away in Triple-A, getting the same players out he has all year.

In fact, one imagines that the All-Star Break is when push comes to shove. The Red Sox may be hoping against hope someone offers them something--anything--for Mike Napoli. In part because, hey, a return is a return, and in part because it looks a lot better to trade Mike Napoli than to simply designate him for assignment. Call it a courtesy move for a player who, in a relatively short time here, left quite the impression.

But after the break, the Red Sox are going to need five pitchers, and if Rick Porcello's inclusion is in question, there should be no chance that Justin Masterson breaks back into the rotation. The Sox need Brian Johnson, or at least Steven Wright, if not both.

First pitch is at 7:10 p.m. ET with broadcasts on NESN and WEEI.