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Beltre might be moving on up in lineup

04.02.10 at 10:59 am ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — In the final Grapefruit League game of spring training, Friday, Terry Francona is trying something out — hitting the right-handed hitting Adrian Beltre between David Ortiz and J.D. Drew.

“That’s something it’s kind of obvious I’ve been thinking about all spring,” Francona said. “It’s like, OK, where are we best? Do we hit them back-to-back? Are we helping the other manager make one move? They’re throwing a lefty today, so I figured we’d go ahead and look at it.”

Francona noted that he doesn’t want to get caught up with changing the lineup on a day-to-day basis contingent on match-ups. With that in mind, here is how the projected Sox’ starting lineup matches up against Yankees Opening Night starter C.C. Sabathia: Jacoby Ellsbury 1-10; Dustin Pedroia 1-15, Victor Martinez 2-11, Kevin Youkilis 5-17, Ortiz 7-26, 2 HR, Beltre 1-13, Drew 2-10, Mike Cameron 6-13, Marco Scutaro 6-17.

“I don’t want to get into a habit where you’re looking at the matchups, like Cameron’s got good numbers against Sabathia, and bouncing guys around, nightly, because of how they’ve done,” Francona said. “I don’t think players like that.”

– Francona said that Josh Beckett could go upwards of 100 pitches Sunday night, although his game might be determined more on how difficult it was for the pitcher to make it through the game rather than the number of pitches.

Jeremy Hermida will play a few minor league games Friday in his quest to come back from a hamstring injury. It is expected that Hermida will be ready to go come Opening Night, but Josh Reddick stands at the ready just in case there are any setbacks.

– The plan is to have both Boof Bonser and Alan Embree throw in minor league games Saturday. Daisuke Matsuzaka is slated to toss 60-65 pitches in coming in relief of Tim Wakefield in the Sox’ exhibition game against the Nationals in Washington D.C. Saturday. Embree will head to play with Pawtucket next week. The PawSox’ opener is April 8.

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