Here are the lineups for today’s game:
RED SOX (5-3)
Marco Scutaro SS
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Victor Martinez C
David Ortiz DH
J.D. Drew RF
Mike Cameron CF
Jeremy Hermida LF
Jed Lowrie 3B
Lars Anderson 1B
Pitching: RHP John Lackey followed by LHP Felix Doubront, RHP Joe Nelson and RHP Junichi Tazawa.
Angel Pagan CF
Luis Castillo 2B
David Wright 3B
Mike Jacobs 1B
Jason Bay LF
Frank Catalanotto DH
Jeff Francoeur RF
Alex Cora SS
Chris Coste C
Pitching: RHP Mike Pelfrey followed by LHP Pedro Feliciano, RHP Tobi Stoner, LHP Hisanori Takahashi and RHP Ryota Igarashi.
Game time: 1:05 p.m.
TV/Radio: MLB Network. Previous games have been blacked out. But NESN, the Sox and MLB were working to clear this game as of last night.
Notes: Rain is in the forecast in Port St. Lucie, home of the giant Wal-Mart and armadillos. … The Sox also have RHP Robert Manuel, RHP Ramon A. Ramirez, 1B Aaron Bates, INF Yamaico Navarro, INF Angel Sanchez, INF Gil Velazquez, OF Che-Hsuan Lin and OF Darnell McDonald on the trip. They will stay overnight with the coaches and head to Jupiter for tomorrow’s game against the Cardinals. … The Red Sox will meet up with Jason Bay today. … The Sox left behind at Fort Myers will have a workout.
UPDATE, 9:09 a.m.: As each day passes, there is growing evidence that Josh Beckett will be signed to a contract extension before the start of the regular season. Agent Michael Moye has had productive discussions with the team according to multiple sources and both sides are optimistic about a deal getting done.
It makes sense on two fronts: The market has been set with the deals given to John Lacket and A.J. Burnett and the Red Sox clearly value starting pitching and the ability to perform in Boston. It makes little sense to build an imposing rotation for 2010 then let a key piece walk away. Signing Beckett also gives Theo Epstein more wiggle room should the need arise to make a trade for a bat during the season.
The only obstacle — and this is purely speculation — could be whether Beckett and Moye agree to the sort of injury provision that was included in Lackey’s deal. But Beckett has enough “Oh yeah? I’ll show you” in him to handle that.
UPDATE, 10:06 a.m.: Hello from Fort Myers. The Red Sox are working out on the field and Jason Varitek is manning first base. Youkilis and Beltre are at third, Iglesias at short with Bill Hall, Tug Hulett at second and Varitek at first.
This is likely one of those “just in case” preparations that most teams do in spring training.