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Red Sox notes: Stephen Drew remains day-to-day, John Farrell muses on lineup stability

03.09.13 at 5:05 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew, who suffered a concussion when a two-seam fastball hit him on the ‘B’ of his batting helmet in an exhibition game against the Twins on Thursday, showed improvement as compared to Friday but remained out of the lineup while showing some lingering symptoms of his injury.

“He’€™s out again today. He’€™s improved over yesterday,” said manager John Farrell. “He went through some bike tests today, where you get him just to exert the heart rate and see if it creates any more of the concussion symptoms. While there were some [symptoms] at the very end, the last sprint that he did on the bike, he is definitely improved over a day ago. What this means going forward, obviously he’€™s day to day. But the improvement is very encouraging.”

Drew noted that, given that three full weeks remain in spring training before Opening Day, there’s little need to accelerate his return to the field until he is completely asymptomatic.

“I know yesterday was kind of, I was more out of it than I am today. They’re looking at all the symptoms. We’ve got three weeks before the season starts, so we don’€™t really need to rush into things and get those symptoms back,” said Drew. “I feel a lot better today than I did yesterday. I have more energy and I’€™m not as tired.”

Drew made clear that he would not be gun shy about a return to the batter’s box in the wake of the injury.

“I’ve gotten hit before,” he mused.

OTHER NOTES

— Earlier in spring training, Farrell suggested that he might consider having Dustin Pedroia bat third — rather than his customary second — against left-handed starters, with Shane Victorino occupying the second slot in the batting order. On Saturday, Farrell said that he expects to have a relatively stable lineup against both righties and lefties, with Pedroia locked into the second spot against pitchers of both handedness, so long as there aren’t some needs created by various lineup holes.

“In talking with Dustin, I know where he feels most comfortable in the lineup (batting second) and that’€™s important. Never want to take that away from his comfort level,” said Farrell. “It would be the goal, though, to have the most stable lineup that we can. I think every player, coming into the ballpark, they want to know where they’ll be hitting against righties and lefties if we have a different lineup. The consistency is important. …

“It’s very conceivable to see that any adjustments we make, righty vs. lefty, might be in that bottom three or four guys in our lineup. Hopefully, that top one through five is pretty consistent and very set,” he added. “As well as David hits lefties, let’s say, for instance, there’s no restrictions on David, there’s a very real scenario of seeing Jacoby, Dustin and David one through three and then we work from there. The questions on lineups and the questions on different scenarios, yeah, there have been a number of them running in my mind and even been written down on paper. But I also want to get to the point where guys are comfortable in their spot and they know what to expect every day they come in.”

— The final verdict on the bullet that Christian Vazquez threw from home to second base on a caught stealing on Friday night, based on Red Sox video review of the broadcast: 1.77 seconds. Multiple team officials said it was the best home-to-second pop time they’d ever seen.

— Here’s the Red Sox lineup against the Orioles on Saturday night:

Brock Holt, 2B
Jonny Gomes, LF
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Mike Napoli, 1B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Will Middlebrooks, 3B
Mike Carp, DH
Mitch Maier, RF
Jose Iglesias, SS

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