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Red Sox notes: Stephen Drew cleared to start baseball activities, Brandon Workman to get a look

03.21.13 at 4:20 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox received good news from the visit by shortstop Stephen Drew to Dr. Michael Collins — a concussion specialist at the University of Pittsburgh. Drew, who has now been given clearance to resume a baseball program by Major League Baseball, has been cleared to resume some limited baseball activities (for now, stretching, the start of a throwing program and hitting in a cage) as his first steps towards returning to the field.

“More than anything, Stephen comes away with some renewed confidence based on the findings by Dr. Collins. He’ll progress as tolerated with really, right now, no timeframe for getting back into a game,” said Sox manager John Farrell. “Based on Dr. Collins’ findings, he was encouraged, just seeing him in person and taking him through a battery of tests. I think Stephen comes away with a little bit of a better grasp of what he’s dealing with.

“He’s improved. I will say it’s not completely cleared, but better than it was three days ago before he left,” added Farrell. “Dr. Collins gave him some assurances that it’s not going to be on the long end of the spectrum with recovery.”

Regardless of when he’s ready to play again, the Sox will hold Drew out from Grapefruit League games for the rest of the spring in order to preserve the option of backdating his stint on the disabled list so that he can be activated as early as possible. If he opens the year on the seven-day DL for players who incur concussions, Drew’s time on the sidelines would have to be at least three days. Potentially, it’s worth noting, a three-day stretch on the DL at the official start of the year would have Drew missing just one game, since the Sox are off on both Sunday (the official start of the MLB regular season calendar) and Tuesday, following their season-opener in New York.

A few other notes:

David Ortiz is continuing to increase the intensity of his exercise program today, following two straight days in which he hit in a batting cage.

Xander Bogaerts played in minor league camp on Thursday, and he’ll make the trip to Dunedin to start at shortstop against the Blue Jays in a Grapefruit League game on Friday.

Pedro Ciriaco, who has been sidelined by back spasms, is taking part in some baseball activity, with the team hoping he’ll be able to return to games by Saturday. His time on the sidelines, however, makes it easier for the team to give Bogaerts time at short.

— The Sox will have Brandon Workman making a start in a Grapefruit League game against the Phillies in Clearwater on Sunday. Workman will open the year in Double-A, coming off a very strong campaign in 2012 that saw him advance to Portland after a run as arguably the most consistent pitcher in the system in High-A Salem. Workman possesses mid-90s velocity on his fastball, an excellent cut fastball and a solid curveball. Farrell said that the opportunity to see Workman start a Grapefruit League game late in the spring was comparable to past opportunities conferred upon homegrown starters from minor league camp — such as Clay Buchholz and Felix Doubront — in past springs.

— The Sox also expect to get some innings in big league camp for Graham Godfrey, the command-and-control right-hander whom the team acquired from the A’s in exchange for the very mobile Sandy Rosario this offseason.

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