Ryan Lavarnway Gets Start in Cleanup Spot as Red Sox Open West Coast Swing

Ryan Lavarnway Gets Start in Cleanup Spot as Red Sox Open West Coast SwingIf there were an indication that the Red Sox might now be crafting their lineup on a day-to-day basis with an eye towards 2013, it might be found in the form of Ryan Lavarnway occupying the cleanup role on Tuesday as Cody Ross gets the night off after supplying the big bat in Monday's 5-1 win over the Kansas City Royals.

There's no question that Lavarnway has a bat that's expected to play in the major leagues, so it's probably wise that the Sox try to give him some regular at-bats throughout the rest of the season. The rookie has an .882 OPS in just under 2,000 minor league plate appearances, which suggests two things. One is that that the 25-year-old is about ready to graduate to the big club full time. The other is that he's proved himself in the minors, so he needs to prove he can take the next step.

Another player who should probably be following in Lavarnway's footsteps and seeing some regular time is Mauro Gomez. However, with Saturday's mega-trade now a few days in the rear view mirror, James Loney still continues to see all the playing time at first base.

Aside from that, Pedro Ciriaco is back at third base, Ryan Kalish takes over in right field and Jacoby Ellsbury again hits third. For the Angels, meanwhile, future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols is back in the lineup as the designated hitter after missing a few games with a calf injury sustained last week in Fenway.

Check out the lineups for both teams below:

Red Sox
Scott Podsednik, LF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Ryan Lavarnway, C
James Loney, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, DH
Ryan Kalish, RF
Jose Iglesias, SS
Pedro Ciriaco, 3B

Clay Buccholz, RHP

Angels
Mike Trout, CF
Torii Hunter, RF
Albert Pujols, DH
Kendrys Morales, 1B
Mark Trumbo, LF
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Maicer Izturis, 3B
Erik Aybar, SS
Chris Iannetta, C

Jered Weaver, RHP

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