Breaking down the Red Sox’ projected lineup

Mike Napoli, right, will be expected to provide power in the Sox lineup while David Oritz is out. Credit: Getty Images
Mike Napoli, right, will be expected to provide power in the Sox lineup while David Oritz is out.
Credit: Getty Images

It’s hard to believe that in just one week the Red Sox will begin playing games that count as they take on the Yankees to open the 2013 season. Coming off a disappointing 69-93 campaign, numerous changes were made with the hope of getting back to the playoffs.

Here is a look at the potential opening day lineup against CC Sabathia and the Yankees, a much different lineup with many new faces:

Nos. 1-3: Jacoby Ellsbury (CF), Shane Victorino (RF), Dustin Pedroia (2B)
This has the potential to be one of the best top-of-the-lineup groups in the American League. Ellsbury is in a contract year and if he plays anywhere close to what he did in 2011 the Red Sox will be in great shape. But as always, health is a concern with the center fielder. Victorino is a contact hitter, and once he gets on base he has the ability to swipe bases, having averaged 30 per season in his nine big league seasons. Everyone knows what Pedroia brings to the table, although he will hit third instead of his typical second spot. Lifetime, he is a .304 No. 3 hitter.

Nos. 4-6: Mike Napoli (1B), Will Middlebrooks (3B), Jonny Gomes (LF)
The middle portion of the lineup is the biggest question going into the season, especially when it comes to power. Who is going to supply the power, particularly without David Ortiz to start the season? Napoli has the potential, as he hit 30 home runs in 2011 and has seven in just 19 games at Fenway Park. Middlebrooks showed he has the ability to one day, but he is only 24 years old, and entering just his second big league season. Gomes isn’t much of a power hitter, but often gets the job done in other ways.

Nos. 7-9: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (DH), David Ross (C), Jose Iglesias (SS)
With the Sox going up against a left-hander, expect Ross to get the nod behind the plate, but without Ortiz the team needs a designated hitter so Saltalamacchia can still expect to play. He will be looking to build off a 25 home run season last year, but also cut down on the strikeouts (133). Ross, an 11-year veteran, isn’t flashy but hit .269 during his last four years with Atlanta. Iglesias will get the nod at shortstop because of Stephen Drew still dealing with concussion symptoms. The 23-year-old hit just .118 in 25 games last season, but with his skill in the field he will look to prove he can at least hit a little bit given the chance to play everyday.

Follow Red Sox beat writer Ryan Hannable on Twitter @RyanHannable84.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

US military tried, but failed to rescue journalist…

The U.S. military earlier this year tried to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in Syria ,but failed to find the captives.

National

Fate of captured beluga whales in hands of…

A Georgia aquarium went to court on Wednesday seeking federal permission to bring 18 captured beluga whales to the United States from Russia.

Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

And then there were six. It was a big night on stage as the Top 6 got to dance with each other, All-star partners and perform a solo routine.

Going Out

5 things to do in NYC this weekend…

FILM Lebowski Fest Aug. 22-23, 8 p.m. Various locations, Manhattan $20-$30, www.lebowskifest.com The Dude abides — for 48 hours to celebrate the 1998 Coen brothers classic.…

Television

'Doctor Who' personality profile: the 4 Doctors

When the time comes for a new Doctor, there's always some anxiety over the big question: Who will he be? The series owes its longevity…

Television

Billy Crystal to commemorate late actor Robin Williams…

  Comedian Billy Crystal will pay tribute to late actor Robin Williams at television's Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 25, the show's organizers said on…

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

NFL

Jalen Saunders still unsure what caused car accident…

Jets rookie wide receiver Jalen Saunders spoke to the media Wednesday for the first time since his car accident, but he didn't say a whole lot.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Wellbeing

Metabolic syndrome could have a sugar link

Scientists in St. Louis may have found another culprit in metabolic syndrome, which can lead to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.  Uric acid is…

Wellbeing

Another way stress hurts your unborn baby

Mothers know to try staying calm during pregnancy, as stress has been linked to behavioral and developmental problems for their babies. But now, a new…