Farrell: Sox optimistic Craig will return on time

Farrell: Sox optimistic Craig will return on time
August 8, 2014, 9:00 pm
Share This Post

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Allen Craig visited with foot and ankle specialist Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte Friday morning, which resulted in "no new findings,'' according to manager John Farrell. Craig is expected to ramp up his baseball activities with the Red Sox as soon as Saturday.    

Craig battled a foot injury for several months last year, then stepped awkwardly on the first base bag last Friday in his first game with the Red Sox after being obtained a day earlier from the St. Louis Cardinals.    

The Sox placed him on the DL earlier this week to give him some time to heal, but don't believe this is going to sideline him for long.    

"Optimistically, (the timetable) is (being ready) at the end of the 15 days,'' said Farrell. "But we'll see how he responds to the increase in activity. There were no real chronic changes to what was viewed last year. Our approach is to get him back on the field, get him playing and we'll see if there's any adverse effect to more aggressive play.''    

Craig will remain with the Red Sox this weekend and will travel with them to Cincinnati.    

"We're got to get him moving and doing some more ground-based stuff first (before he can resume batting practice),'' said Farrell. "But with each passing day from the injury, those symptoms have subsided.''

* Catcher David Ross (plantar fasciitis) remains with the team is "progressing well,'' according to Farrell.    

"To the point where I think we're staying open-minded that he would get some at-bats on a rehab assignment before the 15 days (from the DL stint are up),'' said Farrell. 'That still seems to be a realistic possibility at this point.''    

In Ross's absence, Christian Vazquez has played five straight games. Vazquez played Friday and is scheduled to catch again Saturday before giving way to Daniel Butler, who's expected to make his major league debut Sunday in the series finale.

* With Andrew Miller gone, Farrell has limited eighth inning options beyond Junichi Tazawa, who has pitched five of the previous eight games going into the current series.    

"On days when he's not available,'' said Farrell of Tazawa, "we'll look to match-up as best as possible. On days when he is available, he's our eighth inning guy regardless of where we are in the lineup and probably regardless of [whether] it's righthanded or lefthanded (hitters due up). That's pretty much the starting point going into each game, depending on availability.''    

Farrell said the Sox would avoid pitching Tazawa three days in a row.   

"That's probably eliminated at this point,'' said Farrell, "to make sure we're not pushing him too much physically.''