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Red Sox notes: Jackie Bradley heading to New York; David Ortiz, Stephen Drew getting closer

03.30.13 at 10:56 am ET

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jackie Bradley is getting on the plane to New York after the Red Sox‘ final spring training game Saturday, and will spend Easter there, but after that, John Farrell isn’t letting on.

‘€ª’€œHe’€™ll be on it, yes,” said Farrell, who said Friday that it was “not absolute” Bradley would be in New York.

The Red Sox manager said the team had no new roster decisions to report, with the club intent on using all the time afforded before having to submit its 25-man roster to Major League Baseball by 3 p.m. Sunday. The Sox also want to utilize the 48 hours of control they have over Ryan Sweeney, a period which ends Sunday morning.

Sweeney opted out of his minor-league deal with the Red Sox Friday morning after the team informed him his contract would not be purchased. That left the team with two days two decide how it might use the outfielder’s status to formulate its roster.

If Bradley is to make the Opening Day roster, as expected, the Red Sox would need to remove a player from the 40-man roster in order to make room for the 22-year-old.

Farrell did, however, take a moment to single out the outfielder when asked about some surprises in spring training.

“How good Jackie Bradley is,” he said. “Just reading about him, hearing about him, until you see him you don’€™t know fully what to expect but that’€™s been a good surprise. You never fully anticipate injuries and the length of them, so that’€™s always an uncertain thing but other than that I think we had a pretty good idea coming in what to anticipate. But until you see it unfold and take hold, you get a better sense of it.”

– The Red Sox are hoping to get David Ortiz in a minor-league game in Fort Myers during the week of April 8. The designated hitter is traveling with the team to New York before returning to JetBlue Park to continue his recovery from heel inflammation.

Ortiz continues to execute batting practice, along with straight-ahead running, with the hope that the DH would start some change-of-direction running drills Saturday.

Stephen Drew will remain in Fort Myers, hoping to participate in back-field games. The shortstop, who is currently on the seven-day concussion disabled list, was expected to participate in a full baseball workout Saturday.

“We’re also hopeful it’s not so fluctuating that he’s good for today and he’s not good for tomorrow. We feel like once he initiates game activity he would be able to continue on through it, and that’s really part of the protocol of MLB,” Farrell said. “He has to be cleared and that protocol has to be in place before he can get on a field at any capacity in a game, whether it’s extended, whether it’s a minor league rehab assignment. Anything along those lines. Basically it’s a filing of paperwork. Along with the paperwork becomes the clearing by Dr. [Micky] Collins.

– The expectation right now, according to Farrell, is that David Ross‘ first start with come Thursday with Ryan Dempster on the mound.

In regards to his philosophy on having personal catchers for pitchers, the manager said, “Ideally, yeah, I’€™d like to stay away from it. I don’€™t want to deny a good working relationship, but at the same time, I don’€™t want to create what could be a reason as to why a pitcher might not want to throw to a given catcher. We spent a lot of time working back and forth in pitcher-catcher meetings and building that rapport. We want to put the best lineup on the field every day to win that game. How those matchups are factored in. But I want to be careful that we’€™re not assigning one catcher to a given pitcher.”

– Farrell said Daniel Nava would be first in line to play first base if the Red Sox chose to either rest Mike Napoli, or give him some time at designated hitter.

The manager also once again suggested Nava could be seeing some time in the lineup’s second spot.

‘€œWhat I want to be careful of is a string of four righthanders in a row,” Farrell said regarding his batting order. “That’€™s where Victorino’€™s speed, his switch-hitting ability factors into that. What I don’€™t want to do — I want to give Jonny [Gomes] every opportunity against righthanders as they might enter a game. If that means being in that six, seven slot allows for that a little bit more readily, it also lengthens out our lineup as good as he’€™s swung the bat this spring. Against righthanded starters, we might see Nava in that 2-hole as well. Shane is well aware of that — that against a righthanded starter, he could find himself a little further down in the lineup.”

Read More: David Ortiz, jackie bradley, John Farrell, Red Sox
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