BALTIMORE -- For the third time in the span of seven games, Stephen Drew was out of the Red Sox lineup Monday night. But this wasn't because of Drew's conditioning or a pitching matchup.
According to John Farrell, the shortstop felt some tightness in his right oblique in the sixth inning of Sunday night's 5-3 win over the Tigers.
"Believe me, we'd love to have him in there because of the success he's had against [Baltimore starter Bud] Norris (6-for-13)," said Farrell. "No guarantee of success tonight, but there's a positive history there. Precautionary, we've got to hold him out right now.''
Farrell pinch-hit Jonathan Herrera for Drew in the eighth inning Sunday, but said Monday that was not because of the injury, but rather, a bullpen matchup.
"[Drew] said something to the trainers following the previous at-bat (in the sixth inning),'' said Farrell, "and throughout the course of the remaining hour or so, there was a little bit more tightness. So today, I've got to hold him out.''
Perhaps it could have been anticipated that Drew would have some physical issues, since he had no spring training and played in just seven games in the minors before being promoted to the big-league team.
"You don't have the time to build a physial foundation,'' agreed Farrell, "as you would in spring training. We have to be mindful that, when some of these things come up spring training, you can give him a couple of days to just get over it. That's not the case here.''
Farrell also hinted that agent Scott Boras may have insisted upon Drew coming to the big leagues as soon as 10 days had passed -- the minimum number of days he had to spend in the minors after being optioned out.
"I think there are a number of things that go into negotiations,'' he said. "I'm certainly not privvy to those. But we felt like we needed depth to the left side of the infield, particularly with [Will Middlebrooks'] injury at the time, and the move was made accordingly.''
Herrera was at short in the starting lineup Monday night, but Farrell indicated that he would be comfortable playing Brock Holt at the position in the event that Drew needs more time to recover.
On Monday night, Holt got his second straight start in left field after making his professional debut there Sunday night in Comerica Park.