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Red Sox Thursday morning notes: Mike Napoli ‘a little bit ahead’ of David Ortiz 02.21.13 at 10:46 am ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — While still not outlining specific timelines, Red Sox manager John Farrell said Thursday morning that Mike Napoli is further along in his return to game progression than David Ortiz. Farrell indicated that if everything goes well, Napoli will run the bases next week and begin playing in games later in the week.

“Not specific dates. Ranges, we’re hopeful that Mike would be taking at-bats later next week,” Farrell said of his new first baseman who is still working through agility drills to test his hips. Napoli has looked smooth handling defensive work at first base.

“To maintain with their protocol right now. We just want to be sure, in Mike’s case, that the impact of the addition to all the defensive work, we have to run him through the bases, we have some running yet to do with him but there’s no reason to think he’s going to ramp up without any setback.”

Ortiz has also been taking part in first base defensive drills but the team is taking a more cautious approach with his Achilles.

“David will maintain the agility program that he’s on, and that continues to increase in intensity, much like with Mike,” Farrell said. “They’ll go through a base-running progression to be fully cleared. Right now, there’s been no reason to think that’s not going to continue on its path.”

Farrell said he has no timetable on a return to game action for Ortiz.

“Don’t have a timeframe on that yet,” Farrell said. “I would hope it would not be too far behind but the one thing we don’t want to do is just earmark a date and then all of sudden feel there’s a letdown. We’re not at that point yet.

“Napoli is a little bit ahead of David. My sense is, based on our medical staff, [Napoli will] run the bases sometime next week and provided everything comes out of that fine, which we expect, I think later next week you’ll see him in the lineup.”

Farrell said he’s not overly concerned about Ortiz playing in games yet, indicating that if the slugger starts playing by mid-March, that should be plenty of time to get ready for the start of the season.

“Probably two weeks,” Farrell said of the amount of time Ortiz needs to get ready. “I think if you ask any hitter, they get their timing pretty good in a two weeks period. That’s going to give them probably 35, 40 at-bats so time is on our side as far as a position player.

Mike Carp had some weather-related travel adjustments to make in getting from the West Coast to the Gulf Coast of Florida. The newly-acquired outfielder/first baseman was initially going to travel through Chicago. Instead, he is going through Dallas on Thursday and is scheduled to arrive in Fort Myers Thursday night. He will have to go through a full medical since he did not officially report to Mariners camp after being designated for assignment before Thursday’s trade. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Boston Red Sox 2013 spring training, David Ortiz, John Farrell, mike carp
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