FORT MYERS, Fla. – After his disastrous attempt at starting pitching last season, getting demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket in June, Daniel Bard entered spring training fighting for a spot in the Red Sox bullpen. Instead he will start the season in Double-A Portland.
The Sox optioned Bard to Portland before Thursday night’s game against the Twins. The move essentially ensures Clayton Mortensen gets the final spot in the Sox pen.
The Sox also optioned Mauro Gomez and Brock Holt to Pawtucket. The roster is now at 32.
The Sox have yet to make a decision on Jackie Bradley.
- While shortstop Stephen Drew has progressed from the concussion symptoms that have kept him out of games since March 7 when he was hit in the helmet by a pitch, he will not be ready for Opening Day.
“The window of Stephen Drew’s situation continues to close,” Farrell said. “It’s likely in his case, he’s probably moving towards that seven-day concussion DL. Still, with no timeline or date when he’ll get back in games. Best-scenario, if everything were to work to a T, then he would be available Game 2. But we’re not there to make that an official return date by any means.”
When Drew is ready for game activity, it is uncertain how many at-bats or innings in the field he will need.
“To get to a hard number, he’s not in a position to offer up it’s X number of at-bats before he feels he’s game ready,” Farrell said. “We’ve got to get to the first game first and proceed from there. It’s likely that he’ll remain down here in Florida rather than go to New York hoping that games are in the near term to get those at-bats. We’ll have extended spring games soon as all teams break here. Monday through late next week they will be games going on here every day to get those at-bats for guys.
“As frustrated as he is by not seeing a trajectory right to being back to full speed, there’s that peaks and valleys along the way even though the valleys are getting shallower. In general, there’s less symptoms but yet there are still symptoms.”
Drew was placed on the 7-day concussion DL, retroactive to March 27. He could be available for April 3, the second game of the season. Drew remains in contact with concussion specialist Dr. Michael Collins at the University of Pittsburgh.
- David Ortiz is also unlikely to be ready for Opening Day. He will travel with the team to New York, though, and return to Fort Myers when he is ready for game activity.
“He will go through on-field BP again today, similar to what he did yesterday including some agility work,” Farrell said. “Ground-based activity. So he’s making progress in terms of just volume and adding activities rather than what last week had in store in terms of hitting off a tee and some light soft toss. Based on the revised plan he’s moving along as laid out.
- Left-hander Franklin Morales (back) is expected to throw from a mound Saturday, and left-hander Craig Breslow (shoulder) is scheduled to throw from a mound Monday. Both will start the season on the DL.
- Tonight’s lineups:
Pitchers: Aceves, Hanrahan, Uehara
Pitchers: Pressly, Robertson.