SP - Rick Porcello (1-2, 6.63) v. Miguel Gonzalez (2-1, 2.55)
1. Betts, CF
2. Pedroia, 2B
3. Ortiz, DH
4. Ramirez, LF
5. Napoli, 1B
6. Sandoval, 3B
7. Nava, RF
8. Holt, SS
9. Hanigan, C
To say that the Red Sox offense is off to a slow start is being generous.
Of their regular starters - Mookie Betts, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, Mike Napoli, Shane Victorino, Xander Bogaerts, and Ryan Hanigan - only Bogaerts is hitting above .300.
Three players - Betts (.194), Ortiz (.192), and Victorino (.143) - are below the Mendoza Line.
Although it's still early in the season, 16 games does represent 10% of the season and it may be time for John Farrell to make some tweaks to the lineup.
Here is my suggestion for the new everyday lineup:
1. Brock Holt, RF
2. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
3. David Ortiz, DH
4. Hanley Ramirez, LF
5. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
6. Mike Napoli, 1B
7. Xander Bogaerts, SS
8. Mookie Betts, CF
9. Ryan Hanigan, C
Sitting Victorino and putting in Holt is a downgrade on defense but it does give them a better offensive option and allows Betts to move way down in the order which might take some pressure off of him. It also allows Farrell to ride the hot hand - Holt is off to a .414/.433/.483 start in 29 at-bats - until Rusney Castillo is ready to take over in right field.
Another tweak would be to sit Sandoval against left handed pitchers to get Allen Craig some at-bats. Craig is a likely trade chip for the Red Sox at some point this season but to increase his value on the trade market he needs some at-bats.
At the risk of upsetting Ortiz (.192/.317/..385), switching him to the cleanup spot and moving Ramirez (.263/.328/.526) to the third spot in the order might help spark the offense in the first inning. That change would force Farrell to move Napoli to the fifth spot and Sandoval down to the sixth spot to have a right-left-right-left split in the heart of his lineup.