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Red Sox vs. Rays lineup: Xander Back

The all-star shortstop returns to action, but not at shortstop.

Boston Red Sox Spring Training
Look at this g.
Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Xander Bogaerts and the Red Sox host the Tampa Bay Rays this afternoon at 1:05 p.m. in some hot Friday afternoon spring training action.

Bogaerts will make his first start of March as he continues to recover from a balky shoulder, but is expected to be ready for Opening Day. Previously, manager Alex Cora said Bogaerts had tried to rush himself during the offseason, prompting the team to shelve him for the start of the preseason, according to Boston.com’s Tom Westerholm:

“He rushed himself,” Cora said earlier this month. “He was sore for a few days. We shut him down. He should be back to throwing in the next couple of days. He will take groundballs and all that. The hitting part, he’ll be OK in a few days, too. We’ve just got to be patient. We’ve got plenty of days. We’ve got, what, 30 more days? So as of now, we do feel he should be ready for Opening Day.”

Bogaerts isn’t quite ready for the field, and will DH with handy Jonathan Araúz making the start in X’s traditional spot at shortstop. He’ll play behind Garrett Richards, who makes his third start of the spring (the first Sox pitcher to do so, I believe) after a rocky second outing. Richards needs to get his mechanics in order, and he’ll look to do so against the World Series runners-up.

The rest of the lineup is traditional spring fare, with Alex Verdugo back in center field. Okay, Bobby Dalbec is in his hitherto natural position at third base with Rafael Devers taking a seat; that’s kinda neat. The Rays start phenom Wander Franco, World Series hero Randy Arozarena, Chris Archer back on the mound in his second stint with the club and, most amusingly, someone named Miles Mastrobuoni at 2B. We gotta get that guy.

Rays lineup

1. Brett Phillips, RF

2. Randy Arozarena, LF

3. Brandon Lowe, DH

4. Manuel Margot, CF

5. Wander Franco, SS

6. Kevin Padlo, 1B

7. Taylor Walls, 3B

8. Joseph Odom, C

9. Miles Mastrobuoni, 2B

SP: Chris Archer, RHP

Red Sox lineup

1. Christian Arroyo, 2B

2. Alex Verdugo, CF

3. Xander Bogaerts, DH

4. J.D. Martinez, LF

5. Hunter Renfroe, RF

6. Christian Vázquez, C

7. Bobby Dalbec, 3B

8. Michael Chavis, 1B

9. Jonathan Araúz, SS

SP: Garrett Richards, RHP