FORT MYERS, Fla. — It’s starting to look like Hanley Ramirez is going to be a focal point in the Boston Red Sox’s offense this season.

With 10 days until the season opener, Manager Alex Cora has a good idea how he’ll split playing time among Ramirez, Mitch Moreland, J.D. Martinez and the three outfielders.

Ramirez has been Cora’s No. 3 hitter for most of the spring.

“I’m getting more comfortable with (Ramirez hitting third),” Cora said. “I’m getting more comfortable with the at-bats from Hanley, just staying in the middle of the field. If he keeps doing that, he’ll be fine. We’ll be comfortable.”

Martinez, a late signing, has made four starts this spring at designated hitter, three in left field and one in right.

“I think the notion that J.D. is going to be just a DH, it’s not going to be that way,” Cora said. “He’ll play the outfield. Obviously when he plays the outfield, we can put Hanley (at DH) and we can put Mitch at first.


The split between Ramirez, Moreland and Martinez might be simple to start the season. Cora can play Ramirez and Martinez fairly regularly and use Moreland off the bench or to start occasionally.

But Cora also has expressed interest in keeping his bench busy. He might want to find ways to get his utility guys, presumably two of Blake Swihart, Brock Holt and Deven Marrero, involved.

When Dustin Pedroia comes back, Eduardo Nunez likely will relinquish the second base job and could need at-bats elsewhere.

Another factor: Ramirez has a vesting option that kicks in if he gets 497 plate appearances.

“I’ve got a pretty good idea of how we’re going to (split time at first base),” Cora said. “Rest is a part of this. Not just those two guys, but everybody else. So we’ll find at-bats for everybody.”

How Cora will do that remains a mystery. But there’s one possibility that could open a lot of playing time, and that revolves around Jackie Bradley Jr.


Cora first mentioned weeks ago he would consider using Mookie Betts in center field on the road. That alignment would push Bradley to the bench. And while Bradley roams center better than most, Betts was an above-average center fielder in 2015. He’s won back-to-back Gold Gloves in right.

Boston lefty David Price threw five innings, giving up two runs and three hits as Boston topped Pittsburgh 12-6 at Fort Myers, Florida.

Sam Travis hit his fifth homer and Rafael Devers homered for the third time.

Cora also said Chris Sale will start on Opening Day on March 29 at Tampa Bay, with Price pitching the next game.

ATHLETICS: Left-hander Brett Anderson is back pitching with the club for which he broke into the big leagues, reaching agreement on a minor league contract with Oakland.

ROYALS: Right-hander Clay Buchholz and Kansas City finalized a minor league contract.


The two-time All-Star would get a $1.5 million, one-year deal if added to the 40-man roster. Under the terms of the agreement, the 32-year-old could earn $250,000 in performance bonuses: $25,000 per start from 10-19.

BLUE JAYS: J.A. Happ has been picked to start the opener for Toronto.

DODGERS: Third baseman Justin Turner’s broken left wrist is expected to heal without surgery, according to Manager Dave Roberts.

Turner was hurt Monday when hit by a pitch from Oakland’s Kendall Graveman.

MARLINS: Right-hander Dan Straily has mild right forearm inflammation and will not throw for 5 or 6 days.

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