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Cespedes could move behind Napoli in order

Sox won't ask former A's slugger to change approach, be more selective

Cespedes could move behind Napoli in order play video for Cespedes could move behind Napoli in order

BOSTON -- Though Yoenis Cespedes has batted cleanup since he joined the Red Sox, manager John Farrell said the club is evaluating where the slugger fits best within the framework of a new team.

Cespedes has batted fourth for most of his career, and one of the reasons Farrell has kept him there initially is to ease his comfort.

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But there could come a time -- perhaps soon -- when Farrell puts the disciplined tandem of David Ortiz and Mike Napoli back to back, and perhaps has the free-swinging Cespedes hitting behind them in the five-hole.

Farrell hinted at a possible lineup tweak when he was asked if it was beneficial to have Cespedes in between Ortiz and Napoli.

"That's a debatable point because you can say if David is going to be pitched selectively, then you want someone who's going to be equal to that selectivity behind him," said Farrell. "He's been accustomed to hitting in the four-hole. We tried to transition him in here with as much comfort as possible. That doesn't mean going forward, there won't be an alignment that flip-flops he and Nap. I'm not saying that's going to be tomorrow. We'll take a look at every combination that's available to us."

Though the Red Sox favor a disciplined approach as an organization, they don't want Cespedes to change what has made him successful.

"His aggressive approach at the plate? With it will come some quick outs, but at the same time the ability to impact the baseball is a result of the aggressiveness as well," said Farrell. "He hasn't become more aggressive since coming over here. This is the player that we were well aware of and we pursued heavily. We were fully accepting of the style of player he is."

After playing in 15 straight games, Cespedes was not in the starting lineup Tuesday.

Cespedes is 3-for-23 on the homestand, so Farrell felt that maybe some rest would do the slugger some good.

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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