Drew focused on healthy, productive 2011


Drew focused on healthy, productive 2011

By Sean McAdam

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

WORLD SERIES: Kluber and Perez lead Indians to 6-0 win over Cubs in Game 1


WORLD SERIES: Kluber and Perez lead Indians to 6-0 win over Cubs in Game 1

CLEVELAND - Corey Kluber got the Cleveland Indians off to a striking start and Roberto Perez put away Chicago in the Cubs' first World Series game since 1945.

Kluber dominated into the seventh inning, Perez homered twice and the Indians beat the Cubs 6-0 in the opener Tuesday night. AL Championship Series MVP Andrew Miller escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the seventh and got out of trouble in the eighth, preserving a three-run lead.

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Dombrowski, Red Sox making adjustments in wake of recent departures


Dombrowski, Red Sox making adjustments in wake of recent departures

In recent days and weeks, the Red Sox have lost their general manager, their vice president of amateur and international scouting, an assistant director of amateur scouting, a member of their analytics department and their mental skills coach.

But Dave Dombrowski, the team's president of baseball operations, insists that the team is not in danger of "brain drain.''

"No, not at all,'' said president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski in a conference call with reporters. "We've lost some good people, but it's also a situation where we have a lot of good people and I think when you have a good organization, if you're winning and you expose people to situations, (a certain amount of exodus) happens. I think the other part of it is that we're more than capable of filling some of those roles from an internal perspective. We've got some quality people and I think the thing that's great about it is, it allows people to grow.''

Dombrowski announced that, in the wake of the departure of Amiel Sawdaye, the former VP of amateur and international scouting who left Monday to become assistant GM of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Sox were promoting Eddie Romero, formerly the vice president of international scouting, to the position of senior vice president/ assistant GM.

Romero, the son of former Red Sox utility infielder Eddie Romero Sr. will help Dombrowski in personnel matters and player development, while Brian O'Halloran, who has the same title as Romero, will continue to handle administrative matters including salary arbitration and contactual negotiations.

After the departure of Mike Hazen, who left to become GM of the Diamondbacks last week, Dombrowski interviewed Sawdaye and Romero as Hazen's potential replacements before determining that neither had the necessary experience yet to become a major league GM.

Dombrowski said there would be additional internal promotions and adjustments to announce in the coming weeks. He added that senior advisors Frank Wren and Allard Baird, each former general managers, would see their responsibilities increase when it comes to conducting trade talks with other organizations.

Sawdaye's departure is one of several this off-season for the front office. Earlier this month, Steve Sanders, who had been the team's assistant director of amateur scouting, left to become director of amateur scouting for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Also, Tom Tippett, a longtime member of the team's statistical analysis staff, will leave soon too pursue other opportunities. The team recently informed mental skills coach Bob Tewksbury that his contact would not be renewed, according to the Boston Globe.

Dombrowski indicated that Laz Gutierrez would be promoted to take the place of Tewksbury.

In other news, Dombrowski revealed that the entire coaching staff -- hitting coach Chili Davis; assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez; first base coach Ruben Amaro Jr.; third base coach Brian Butterfield; bullpen coach Dana LeVangie; pitching coach Carl Willis; and bench coach Torey Lovullo -- had all agreed to return for 2017.

That, of course, is subject to change since Lovullo is believed to be a target of Hazen for Arizona's managerial vacancy.

Dombrowski said the Diamondbacks had yet to request permission to speak with Lovullo, though that may happen soon now that Hazen has hired Sawdaye to fill out his front office.

When Hazen was hired by the Diamondbacks, he was limited to hiring just one member of the Red Sox' Baseball Operations staff. But, Dombrowski added, that limit didn't apply to uniformed staff members such as Lovullo, who would be leaving for a promotion.