Francona keeping options open on batting order

Francona keeping options open on batting order

Francona keeping options open on batting order
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The lineup the Red Sox used for Monday night's Grapefruit League contest against the Yankees could look a lot like the one that manager Terry Francona posts Opening Day against Rangers lefty C.J. Wilson on April 1.

Jacoby Ellsbury led off, and he was followed by Dustin Pedroia, Carl Crawford, Kevin Youkilis, Adrian Gonzalez, David Ortiz, Mike Cameron, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Marco Scutaro.

Eight of those nine will be primary starters during the season. Right fielder J.D. Drew was the only regular not in Monday's lineup.

As far as lineup alignment, the main question will probably center on what order Youkilis and Gonzalez hit in.

Despite having Youkilis fourth and Gonzalez fifth on Monday, Francona said not to read too much into that just yet.

"I don't know. I really don't know," Francona said. "We'll see. I honestly don't know. If you have Gonzalez hitting fifth, most likely you're going to have Gonzalez-David-J.D., so I don't know if I want to do [three lefties in a row] either. We'll see."

At least in Spring Training, Francona has stuck with an Ellsbury-Pedroia-Crawford grouping at the top when the three played on the same day.

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.