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Red Sox vs. Rays lineups: Our first look at 2022 Nathan Eovaldi

Twitter will be happy about this one.

Boston Red Sox Spring Training
Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

The Red Sox’s presumptive Opening Day starter and Twitter’s favorite heartthrob Nathan Eovaldi takes to the mound this afternoon (1:05 p.m., NESN and also free on in Florida as the Sox face off against Tampa Bay and the Rays.

The Sox look to make it two wins in a row to start the preseason after yesterday’s pummeling of the Twins; it is well-known that spring training games don’t matter unless you win, at which point they do. Today’s lineup features a familiar face in the leadoff spot as Jackie Bradley Jr. makes his triumphant return to the Sox, while Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts make their first starts of the year in their normal three and four spots. Bobby Dalbec is back as well in the fifth spot after homering on Thursday.

In fact the whole lineup looks pretty normal until the seventh spot, at which it takes an extremely March turn, finishing up with Ryan Fitzgerald, Jeission Rosario and Kole Cottam, on whom you will not be tested. On the other side, the Rays lineup basically looks like that all the way down, but it kind of always does. The notable thing for me and me alone is the presence of Esteban Quiroz batting ninth and DH’ing; Quiroz is a competent Quad-player, formerly in the Sox system, who hasn’t gotten the big-league call yet but I once suggested the Sox trade back for him and still kinda stand by it. So if nothing else I’ll enjoy seeing him.

That’s about it. Baseball! Back! Still! What a world.

Preseason 3/18 vs. Rays

Lineup spot Rays Red Sox
Lineup spot Rays Red Sox
1 Taylor Walls, SS Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
2 Josh Lowe, CF Christian Arroyo, 2B
3 Vidal Bruján, 3B Rafael Devers, 3B
4 Francisco Mejía, C Xander Bogaerts, SS
5 Jonathan Aranda, 2B Bobby Dalbec, 1B
6 Ryan Boldt, RF Kevin Plawecki, DH
7 Miles Mastrobuoni, LF Ryan Fitzgerald, LF
8 Tristan Gray, 1B Jeisson Rosario, RF
9 Esteban Quiroz, DH Kole Cottam, C
SP Chris Mazza, RHP Nathan Eovaldi, RHP