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Red Sox at Twins Lineups: Shuffling around the diamond

A lot of guys playing out of position on Friday

MLB: Spring Training-Minnesota Twins at Boston Red Sox Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Red Sox continue their spring schedule on Friday by traveling just a bit down the road to take on the Twins. They’ll have a few regulars in the lineup, though it’s not quite as exciting as what we’ve seen the last couple of days. The most interesting part of this lineup, to me, is that we are seeing a lot of guys playing off of their natural positions. The Red Sox obviously value versatility, particularly from guys who aren’t slam dunk starting-caliber players, and so they use spring to try and build more of that versatility into players’ games.

In this one, we’ll see Tzu-Wei Lin play in center field as he continues his evolution into a super utility man. That could certainly prove valuable if Brock Holt leaves in free agency next winter. Meanwhile, Sam Travis heads out to left field, Eduardo Núñez plays shortstop (I’d be okay with not seeing this one in the regular season), and Michael Chavis plays first base. The last one is probably most interesting there. Chavis’ bat has looked great in the early parts of spring and that alone will be enough to get him to the majors. If he wants to stick and carve out a regular role, however, he’ll need to find a spot on the diamond. The Red Sox are trying him at a few different positions as they try to find the best fit.

On the mound it’s going to be a day of relievers for the Red Sox, and mostly minor-league guys. Josh Taylor, who was acquired in the Deven Marrero deal and added to the 40-man this past winter, gets the start. He’s kind of an under-the-radar bullpen piece who could make an impact in 2019. After him, per Jen McCaffrey, we’ll see Bobby Poyner, Dan Runzler, Daniel Schlereth, Daniel McGrath (lots of Dans!), Domingo Tapia, Jordan Weems, Jordan Montgomery, Trevor Kelley and Adam Lau.

Here are the full lineups:

Red Sox at Twins, 3/22

Lineup Spot Red Sox Twins
Lineup Spot Red Sox Twins
1 Andrew Benintendi, LF Max Kepler, RF
2 Eduardo Núñez, 2B Jorge Polanco, SS
3 Rafael Devers, 3B Nelson Cruz, DH
4 J.D. Martinez, DH Eddie Rosario, LF
5 Xander Bogaerts, SS C.J. Cron, 1B
6 Mitch Moreland, 1B Marwin Gonzalez, 3B
7 Jackie Bradley Jr., CF Jonathan Schoop, 2B
8 Christian Vázquez, C Jason Castro, C
9 Gorkys Hernández, RF Byron Buxton, CF
SP Dan Runzler, LHP Kyle Gibson, RHP

Today’s game won’t be available for local broadcast, but MLB Network is airing the game live. It will also be available to listen to on 850 AM WEEI. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 PM ET.