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By hitting Bogaerts fourth, the Red Sox can separate him from the two other right-handed hitters (Mookie Betts and Dustin Pedroia) at the top of the order. Under that scenario, David Ortiz would hit third.
"If the No. 1 criteria of the four-hole hitter was how many home runs did you hit, Xander isn't that type of hitter," said Farrell. "Within our lineup, you're always looking to get your higher on-base, higher-average guys higher in the order. He's clearly one of those. Second to that is, how do you best break up a complete run of right-handers?"
It's certainly possible Bogaerts will increase his power in his age-23 season. Aside from the lack of home runs, Bogaerts had a strong offensive season last year, hitting .320 with a .355 on-base percentage and a .421 slugging percentage.
"If everyone hits to their capabilities, we've got a lengthy and deep lineup," Farrell said. "I wouldn't focus this solely on Xander. It's the entire group that we've got that's a talented group. Maybe we're not quite hitting the way we're capable of right now, but this has got a chance to be a very deep lineup."
Farrell suggested he would mainly use the Ortiz-Bogaerts alignment against right-handers, and probably flip it against left-handers.
"I like the fact that David comes up in the first inning, and I prefer him to hit in the first inning rather than we go one-two-three and he's leading off the second inning," Farrell said. "I recognize that happens one time in a game. We can really dig into the merits of a lineup. Hitters are going to tell you where they hit in the lineup by how they perform. There's a lot to that."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.