Drew focused on healthy, productive 2011

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Drew focused on healthy, productive 2011

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- J.D. Drew, one of the last position players to arrive in camp this week, said his strained hamstring is improving all the time and shouldn't limit him much in camp.

"It's much better over the last couple of weeks,'' said Drew. "Hopefully, no issues there and we can go through camp with no problem. It was a long process for the off-season, trying to get that thing better. But it seems to have finally turned the corner.

"We've tried a bunch of different stuff, but I think we'll straighten in out with stretching and stuff like that. I hadn't had any problems with it before until the second half (of last season). Hopefully, that's an issue we don't have to deal with a whole lot down here.

"It's going to be a thing where I kind of take it step-by-step as spring opens up and things get rolling. But for the most part, right now it feels pretty good.''

While Drew may ease into activity to avoid aggravating the hamstring, he plans no major changes in his preparation.

"I think it's always the same old thing -- just trying to fine-tune, get your legs up underneath you and make sure everything is ready to go for April. I had a nice off-season routine going, good workouts. I'm excited to be in camp and ready to go.''

Drew rejoins a restocked roster and overhauled outfield that has new teammate Carl Crawford in left, Jacoby Ellsbury back in center and Mike Cameron relegated to the bench.

But Drew thinks Cameron will still contribute.

"Cam's going to play his usual out there,'' Drew said. "(His) ability to play all over is going to be huge. (Rest) is something every guy is going to need from time to time and for him to fill in for Ellsy or Crawford or me. Tito's been real good with that in the past, finding days when we need them. I'm sure he'll continue to do that.''

While some players set statistical goals befoe each season, Drew takes a more general approach.

"My thing is at-bats, quality at-bats every time I step on the field,'' he said. "If I can control that and do that every time I step on the field, things will be fine.''

He had no explanation for why he struggled so much against lefthanded pitching last season, hitting just .208

"No reason at all,'' he said with a shrug. "I don't have any answers on that one.''

Drew's five-year, 70 million contract expires after this season, but there's no reason to put any added pressure on himself to perform in a walk year.

"Every year is a big year,'' Drew said. "I think you want to go in there and give yourself the best chance to have a great year and help your team. So that's my goal.''

At the start of last season, Drew said he might retire at the end of this year, but he's made no further plans.

"I haven't thought a lot about it,'' he said. "Me and my wife have talked a little bit. More than anything, the (focus) this off season was to get myself healthy and get ready for this season. As the year unfolds, we'll have some more (talk).''

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'capable of more' vs. lefties

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Quotes, notes and stars: Red Sox 'capable of more' vs. lefties

CHICAGO -- Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 4-1 loss to Chicago:

 

QUOTES:

"He's rarely in the middle of the plate. He pitches to the edge very effectively. He's got a number of different looks he can give you.'' - John Farrell on White Sox starter Jose Quintana.

"We have such a heavily righthand-hitting lineup, you would think that our guys would be able to handle the off-side pitching coming at them. . . We're capable of more.'' - Farrell on the Sox 0-3 record against lefty starters.

"He's done everything that we could have asked, to get deep into games and low run situations -- and not just this year. This goes back to when he was in the rotation last year.'' - Farrell on tough-luck loser Steven Wright.

"That's what I'm working for every time.'' - Carson Smith on his scoreless inning in his Red Sox debut.

"It is what it is. Keep working and try to be ready on whatever opportunities come. That's all I can say about that.'' - Chris Young, on the infrequency of lefty starters.

"A little frustrated with the walks. I gave them the second run with the walks. When I'm out there throwing 20 pitches an inning, it's hard to get into a rhythm.'' - Steven Wright.

 

NOTES

* The Red Sox have faced three lefty starters this season and are 0-3. They've managed two runs in 23 innings and hit just .108 (8-for-74) against them.

* When the opposition scores first, the Red Sox are 5-6 this season.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. extended his hitting streak to nine games with a sixth-inning single.

* Dating back to last season, Steven Wright hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in his last nine starts.

* Hanley Ramirez's homer in the fifth was his first since April 6, covering 96 at-bats.

 

STARS

1) Jose Quintana

Chicago's starter was brilliant, allowing a single run in eight innings on just four hits without issuing a walk.

2) Jose Abreu

The White Sox first baseman drove in three of the four White Sox runs with a first-inning triple and a two-run double in the eighth.

3) Steven Wright

Once again, the knuckballer got almost no run support and was stuck with the loss despite allowing just two runs in six innings.