Farrell quick hits: Napoli MRI on Thursday

February, 13, 2013
2/13/13
2:01
PM ET
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- First baseman Mike Napoli is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his hip Thursday, manager John Farrell said, but it sounds like it will be some time before he is able to work out regularly at first base.

“There will be a gradual increase of baseball activity,’’ Farrell said. “Right now, obviously, there is no pounding, impact activity. We’ll get the evaluation from his doctor in New York, once it’s reviewed, then there will be a work plan laid out, not only volume, but the type of work that will follow from that point.

“The next couple of days will give us a lot of information on how to start his progression with more on-field baseball activity.’’

Napoli has a serious hip condition -- avascular necrosis -- that the Red Sox discovered during a physical exam last December.

Other quick hits from Farrell’s post-workout media session:

* Clay Buchholz’s right hamstring was re-evaluated, and he was cleared to throw on flat ground Wednesday morning.

“He’s responded favorably to treatment,’’ Farrell said. “His range of motion is good, his strength is good, he still has some sensation in a smaller spot than yesterday. He was able to put a ball back in his hand. An encouraging day for us.’’

* Left-hander Felix Doubront was throwing at 75 feet Wednesday. That will be gradually increased, and the projected date for his return to the mound is next Wednesday.

* On John Lackey's first official bullpen session: “A good work day today. Freeness in his delivery, freeness in his arm, staying behind the ball, repeating his delivery. All the things we’re looking for right now, he did very well. He’s in great condition, so a 35-pitch bullpen was not taxing for him."

* Two outfielders, Daniel Nava and non-roster invitee Mitch Maier, joined Mauro Gomez and non-roster invitee Lyle Overbay taking ground balls at first base. Farrell said they will continue to do so, as the club looks to see if there is a left-handed hitter who could serve as a backup at both positions. Gomez hits right-handed.

* Farrell mentioned some of the areas new infield instructor/third-base coach Brian Butterfield will emphasize with third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who begins his first full season as the regular at that position.

“Consistency of his footwork, maybe his range to his glove side, I know are focal points he’ll work on with Brian here. Once again, when you talk about a young, talented player, going through that cycle of a full season for the first time, we’ll get to know more about him as well. I know one thing: I’m glad he’s here.’’

* Team psychologist Bob Tewksbury, the former big-league pitcher, will have an expanded role with the club this season, spending as much as 85 days with the team during the season, including some road trips. Tewksbury is conducting the morning mental skills sessions that have preceded the day’s workouts.

“I’m a huge believer in the mental side of the game,’’ he said.

* Outfielder Shane Victorino is the only position player who has yet to make an appearance.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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