In recent seasons, the Red Sox everyday lineup has been pretty predictable.
Injuries aside, it was easy to forecast who would be playing each position on a daily basis. But like a lot of things associated with the 2020 MLB season, that's about to change.
Some positions will remain predictable. Rafael Devers will start most every game at third and the same can be said for Xander Bogaerts at shortstop. Ditto for Christian Vazquez behind the plate. And unless he's getting a day off or a (very) occasional start in the outfield, count on J.D. Martinez as the team's regular DH.
If anything, the Sox might be willing to ask more of their established position players, given the concentrated nature of the 60-game schedule.
"You feel like, if (your best players) are in shape, you kind of want them to have them out there more often,'' said manager Ron Roenicke, "because we know it's a shortened season. We know how important every game is.''
But beyond those four spots, expect some fluctuation at several other positions. In the modern game, having advantageous matchups based on opponents pitching plans is seen as critical.
Additionally, the novel nature of training camp (three weeks instead of seven; few, if any exhibition games) makes it difficult for Roenicke, his coaching staff and the front office to evaluate players in a conventional way.