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Red Sox pregame notes: David Ortiz ‘fit and ready’; no trade high alert; Stephen Drew accepts platoon

07.25.14 at 8:07 pm ET
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Miss a rematch with David Price? David Ortiz, standing in the walkway between the Red Sox clubhouse and the dugout, simply shook his head slowly. Wasn’t going to happen.

Though the Red Sox designated hitter had to leave Thursday’s game in the middle of his at-bat due to a spasm roughly in the middle of his back, Ortiz — after seeking pregame treatment and doing some early swinging in the cage — declared himself, in the words of manager John Farrell, “fit and ready to go tonight. … He called me once we got to the hotel [on Thursday night] and said make sure you don’€™t count me out for tomorrow quite yet, knowing he’€™d come here tomorrow and get some work done. And here we are.”

With Ortiz ready to occupy his customary third spot in the lineup, that meant he would again be poised to face off with Rays starter David Price, the left-hander who had taken offense to Ortiz’s deliberate tour of the bases following an ALDS homer and who responded in kind by drumming Ortiz when the two teams faced off at Fenway Park on May 30. Despite that history, however, as of two hours before first pitch, the Red Sox hadn’t heard from Major League Baseball regarding any high alert status (or warnings) for the contest.

“We haven’€™t heard anything and I don’€™t anticipate anything,” Farrell said.

 OTHER RED SOX NOTES

Stephen Drew got what has been a standard night off against a left-handed starter (Price) on Friday, with Brock Holt getting the starting nod. At the time that they signed Drew in May, the Red Sox established that this year, they planned to sit him against most left-handed starters, something the team was less inclined to do last year.

“Last year was a full year of experience with Stephen and we know of him better, he knows of us. So we were able to communicate some of the potential scenarios prior to him coming back here,” said Farrell. “That was all fine and accepted.”

Though the Sox don’t have a traditional right-handed platoon partner (at a time when they’re keeping Xander Bogaerts at third base), the emergence of Brock Holt as someone who hits pitchers of both handedness and who can hold his own defensively at any position has allowed the team the luxury of employing Drew selectively.

At the end of spring training, Holt lost the utility job to Jonathan Herrera in no small part because Herrera was viewed as the superior defensive shortstop. But Holt’s defensive work at short during the regular season has been more impressive than it was in the spring.

“I think he’€™s been better defensively [than we thought] at every position, the seven he’€™s started at,” Farrell said, only half-kidding. “I think the comparison at shortstop to spring training is going to be that there are more games played, even while he was at Pawtucket. Through repetition he’€™s gaining comfort at the position as well.”

David Ross returned to the Sox lineup after being hobbled by plantar fasciitis on Tuesday.

– Farrell said with the trade deadline six days away, no one on the roster has been put on high alert about a potential trade.

“We all recognize names are going to be offered up and situations bantered about. You do the best you can with the information you do have, but that isn’€™t all the information, just to put guys thoughts at ease. We’€™re focusing on what we can control and that’€™s in between the lines today,” said Farrell. “There may be some different content into the conversations [between Farrell and GM Ben Cherington] if it has anything that’€™s included to be imminent or changes to the roster. Again there’€™s no contingency of any kind. We’€™re going about our business as usual.”

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