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DH or outfield, Martinez ready to rake

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After playing the outfield his entire career, it will take a while for J.D. Martinez to get used to public-address announcers around Major League Baseball announcing him as "the designated hitter" for his new team, the Boston Red Sox.

But for someone who loves hitting as much as Martinez does, he certainly isn't going to complain about having even more time to focus on it.

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After playing the outfield his entire career, it will take a while for J.D. Martinez to get used to public-address announcers around Major League Baseball announcing him as "the designated hitter" for his new team, the Boston Red Sox.

But for someone who loves hitting as much as Martinez does, he certainly isn't going to complain about having even more time to focus on it.

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Martinez, after all, takes it as a compliment when people note how obsessive he is about his swing.

While Martinez will still get to play some outfield, he'll really be able to break down film those days he isn't playing defense.

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"Yeah. I mean, honestly, I kind of did that when I played right field, too. It never really stopped me," Martinez said. "I'm always hungry for information and stuff like that, so yeah, it might be a positive to it, I think. I'd say the challenge of DHing is going to be learning the routine and to stay loose and stay warm and kind of be ready for it. It definitely could be a positive thing."

David Ortiz is expected to be at Spring Training at some point in March, so Martinez can surely tap into Big Papi for some pointers on the DH role.

Worth the wait: Red Sox introduce J.D.

Martinez, Boston's new thunder stick, will bat third or fourth in the lineup, manager Alex Cora said before the Red Sox thumped the Pirates, 13-2, on Monday.

The lineup the Red Sox open the season with on March 29 could look something like this: Mookie Betts RF, Andrew Benintendi LF, J.D. Martinez DH, Hanley Ramirez 1B, Rafael Devers 3B, Xander Bogaerts SS, Jackie Bradley Jr. CF, Eduardo Nunez 2B, Christian Vazquez C.

Video: J.D. Martinez thrilled to officially join the Red Sox

Everything else would pretty much stay the same if Cora instead goes with Ramirez third and Martinez fourth.

Given Cora's strategy of wanting to get his best hitters to the plate as often as possible -- this is why he is hitting Betts first and Benintendi second -- Martinez could well wind up in the three-hole.

But he would get more RBI opportunities batting cleanup.

Cora will talk to Martinez in the coming days and see what he is most comfortable with.

"Obviously, he's a big part of our offense," said Cora. "We talk about instant offense. That's the thought behind Mookie and Beni. He's going to provide that. If he hits in the first inning or if he hits with men on, we'll see."

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Be it his slot in the lineup or his position, Martinez sounds willing to go with the flow.

"You know, to me, it's baseball, really," Martinez said. "I'm just thinking about taking how I take it every game, how I've been playing this game since I was a kid and continuing to do the same routine I've been doing. Whether it's DHing or playing the outfield, that was part of the deal coming in was knowing that I am going to play the outfield, but I am going to DH at times, too. And I'll just do the same thing I've been doing, really."

And by that, Martinez means he will hit -- and hit a lot.

Video: J.D. Martinez may play some outfield with Red Sox

Up next: The Red Sox will be busy on Tuesday, hosting the Cardinals in a 1:05 p.m. ET game at JetBlue Park on Gameday Audio and then playing a 7:05 game on the road against the Twins -- who also train in Fort Myers -- on MLB.TV. Prospect Jalen Beeks will start at home, with Brandon Workman seeing action out of the bullpen. Chandler Shepherd starts against the Twins. Third baseman Rafael Devers is among the position players set to play in the nightcap.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

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