Sunday March 06, 2011 | 06:55 AM

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he will not platoon David Ortiz, despite his recent struggles against left-handed pitching.

Makes sense, for now. Maybe Ortiz will improve on his .222 average last year. The Red Sox are hoping Ortiz can be a force in the lineup for one more year.

Ortiz, show here during his rehab stint with the Sea Dogs in 2009, may be a force. But he won't be high up the order. Ortiz will likely bat sixth in the lineup, after Ellsbury, Pedroia, Crawford, Gonzalez and Youkilis.

And what of J.D. Drew? There is a stronger argument for platooning him with Mike Cameron. Drew batted .208 against lefties last year.

Jed Lowrie crushes left-handed pitching. When does he play? And where?

For a look at the Sox lineup, and a quick glance at the Rays and Yankees (can Jeter still lead off?), see the Baseball Column.


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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