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Red Sox vs. Indians: Hanley starts in left, Castillo sits

Headed right back to crazy town.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Hanley Ramirez is in left field, with Rusney Castillo the odd man out in Boston's outfield Monday night as the Red Sox take on the Indians.

Jose Ramirez - 2B Mookie Betts - CF
Francisco Lindor - SS Brock Holt - 2B
Michael Brantley - DH Xander Bogaerts - SS
Carlos Santana - 1B David Ortiz - DH
Abraham Almonte - CF Hanley Ramirez - LF
Yan Gomes - C Pablo Sandoval - 3B
Lonnie Chisenhall - RF Travis Shaw - 1B
Jerry Sands - LF Ryan Hanigan - C
Mike Aviles - 3B Jackie Bradley - RF
Danny Salazar - RHP Matt Barnes - RHP

Alright, so there's two possibilities.

1) Rusney Castillo is sitting because the Red Sox want to take it slow with him after he hurt himself against Seattle the other day.

2) Rusney Castillo is sitting because Hanley Ramirez is the starting left fielder and there was no room left for all three of Betts, Bradley, and himself.

In the first scenario, all is well! It's perhaps more caution than is really called for under the circumstances, but hey, safe is better than sorry, and the day he missed on Saturday didn't hurt him any, since he came right back with a homer and a single on Sunday.

In the second scenario...we're approaching hair-tearing territory. I don't care if you think Hanley Ramirez at first or third is another disaster waiting to happen, because it's stopped being a matter of how to fit Ramirez in when, chances are, this team is better not fitting him in than they are not fitting in any of their outfielders. I even mean that taking a cautious stance on Bradley, who--even if he's only a .240/.290/.350 type is probably still more valuable than the Ramirez we've seen this season thanks to defense alone.

Simply put, the Red Sox are better off with Rusney Castillo in left field and Hanley Ramirez on the bench than vice versa in 2015, 2016, and any other year wherein Ramirez has not miraculously learned how to play the position. And sitting one outfielder a day until October finally brings this season to close isn't a half measure, but no measure at all. It's simply delaying the inevitable. That's bad enough in a vacuum, but when you consider that they're putting off the pain that'll inevitably bring until a point when the games actually matter again, it's complete and utter madness.

So let's hope the Sox are just playing it safe with Castillo's foot. Because otherwise, they're just plain indefensible.