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.

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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