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Nava, Victorino could share leadoff duties

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- For the better part of the last six seasons, Jacoby Ellsbury batted first for the Red Sox whenever he was healthy. Don't expect that same stability in the top spot in Boston's 2014 batting order.

Daniel Nava and Shane Victorino project as the two players who will spend the most time in that spot, but manager John Farrell is open to tinkering with that spot as needed.

"I think they're the two candidates that quickly come to mind," said Farrell. "But we started last year with a certain lineup. Things evolved. I fully expect that to take place again this year."

It could well be that Nava winds up leading off against righties while Victorino gets the nod against lefties.

"I wouldn't be reluctant to go back and forth as long as those two, Daniel and Shane, were well aware of it and being able to anticipate being in the lineup," said Farrell. "It's all about communicating to them and letting them know what our initial thoughts are. Guys will perform their way into … you know, players will tell you what the lineup should be based on their performance. I don't see that being any different this year. But initially, those are the two candidates."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. 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.

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