Sports

Red Sox still facing lineup puzzle

TAMPA -- Red Sox manager John Farrell is getting closer to an everyday lineup, though he’s still struggling with the No. 2 hole against righthanded starters.

“Jonny (Gomes) had a lot of success in the two-hole last year,” Farrell said. “Against a lefty we have options. Righthanded - that’s where (switch-hitter) Nava’s situation comes into focus. And yet we’re not set on which of those lefthanders will make the club.

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“At some point, we can’t totally neglect spring training. We’re going to balance that with the long-term production they’ve had,” Farrell said.

That’s why it appears that Nava, who played first base Wednesday against the Yankees, could have a leg up on Mike Carp, Lyle Overbay and Ryan Sweeney.

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Farrell was also asked whether he would be opposed to having two catchers in the lineup (one at DH) as he did a few days ago.

“I don’t object to that,” he said. “I understand the risk you run. If we were in a situation where (Jarrod Saltalamacchia) had to go behind plate, we’d go with pinch-hitters rather than go with Mike (Napoli) behind the plate.”

Of course, Napoli would still be an emergency option, even though he hasn’t caught all of spring training.

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Also, Franklin Morales has thrown his back-to-back long tosses. Now the Sox will put him on a throwing program.

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