BOSTON - If Stephen Drew is to help the Red Sox at all this season, they'll have to wait another day - and potentially even longer - for it to happen.
Drew is again out of the Red Sox lineup Thursday night against the Indians, the fourth consecutive game he's been held out and the sixth total since coming up to Boston.
For Drew, it's a strained right oblique that's been bothering him and it's not getting any better. In fact, it may even be getting worse.
Drew was signed by Boston on May 21 and called up to the majors on June 2 after a very short minor league stint in Single A and with the PawSox. That isn't much of a "spring training" to get ready for everyday usage.
"Day-to-day," Farrell said of Drew prior to Thursday's game. "He'll go through a full exam here this afternoon to determine if an MRI is needed. Yesterday in the second round of BP he felt the right oblique kind of grab him again and he was going through some exercise and like I said a full workout. Whether or not the MRI is needed tomorrow, and even if there's any question, we'll get all the information possible. But he's frustrated by it and at the same time we can't risk any longer term situation here."
At this point, the words "longer term" barely even apply to the Red Sox. It's June, but Boston is in no position of power - literally and figuratively. At 29-36, they're nine games behind the AL East-leading Jays and own the second-worst record in the AL. It's that bad in Boston right now. Heck, if things keep trending in the direction they are, the team will be selling before Drew's oblique heals.
Now they'll take Drew through tests and possibly an MRI to figure out just how serious the oblique injury is.
"I just think the MRI is going to indicate to what extent there's inflammation," Farrell said. "The best way to answer that is if the MRI is deemed necessary, than the information that's derived from it, we'll have a better read on the prognosis going forward."
With each day Drew sits - and each game the Sox lose - it becomes more difficult for general manager Ben Cherington to defend his signing for $10 million.
Regardless of Drew's prognosis, the prognosis of the Sox as a team right now is grim.