The Boston Red Sox are not mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, but they will be soon. They’ve gone to a six-man rotation for the remainder of the season. Torey Lovullo, the interim manager, has already begun a schedule to give players days off down the stretch.

So what should we be watching for over the final three weeks of the season? Here are a few story lines worthy of your attention:

Big Papi’s quest. Yes, David Ortiz has joined the 500 home run club. He’s also closing in on 100 RBI for the season. Through last weekend, he has 34 homers and 95 RBI. He already owns the Red Sox record with eight seasons with at least 30 home runs and will tie Ted Williams with nine years of 100 or more RBI.

He’s also playing for a bigger contract in 2016. Plate appearances have already triggered an increase in his salary next year, which can increase by an additional $2 million if he gets 51 more plate appearances over the final 20 games of the season.

 Outfield positioning. Mookie Betts has started more games in center field than all other Red Sox players combined. Sometime over the next week he will try his hand at one of the corner outfield positions.

It’s clear the Sox are enamored with the BBC outfield (Betts, Jackie Bradley, Jr., and Rusney Castillo). They will be Boston’s outfielders in 2016, unless they move one in an effort to get a true ace this winter. The lingering question is where will each player play?

Bradley is probably the best defensive center fielder in the game. He’s also got the strongest arm of the trio, meaning he could be a right fielder. Before a decision is made on which spot is best for each young player, we need to see where each player can – and can’t – play. Watching Mookie in right or left will be part of that learning process.

 Can the kids pitch? There’s no question Eduardo Rodriguez is going to be part of the Sox rotation next year, but what about Henry Owens? He’s had some stellar starts and some shaky moments. Of all the current starters, he’s the one pitching for his spot on the team next year.

 Can any of the relievers pitch? The bullpen has become a complete mess. Even Junichi Tazawa, once one of the most dependable setup men in the game, has been struggling since the All-Star break.

Everyone will get an opportunity to earn a spot in the discussion for next year. Some – like Robbie Ross, Jr. and Tommy Layne – have already begun to show they belong. Others are running out of time.

With a new president coming in (Sam Kennedy) and a new president of baseball operations in place (Dave Dombrowski), the Sox have already embarked on the road to 2016. On the field, young players have created some excitement for next season. There aren’t many games left in 2015, but there is still a lot to see before we embark on the off-season.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.