FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Quick hits from Red Sox manager John Farrell prior to Friday night’s exhibition here against the Pittsburgh Pirates:
--Third baseman Will Middlebrooks worked out Friday but was kept out of the lineup. He is scheduled to play Saturday against the Twins, Farrell said. “Want to get him one more workday,’’ Farrell said.
--David Ortiz, who had returned to the Dominican Republic for what Farrell termed a personal matter, was en route back to the Fort Friday afternoon, the manager said. His trip to the Dominican was not related to his Achilles tendon condition, Farrell said.
--Left-hander Craig Breslow, who came to camp with some shoulder discomfort, is to begin a throwing program Saturday. That leaves the reliever the rest of the month to prepare for the April 1 opener, which will be cutting it close. Farrell said he has a chance to be ready, but there would appear no reason for Breslow to rush, and an early DL stint would allow the Red Sox time to buy time to sort out their bullpen options. [That's my speculation, not Farrell’s].
--With Shane Victorino leaving for the World Baseball Classic on Sunday, Jackie Bradley Jr. will get some playing time in right field, Farrell said. He had mentioned earlier in the week that Jonny Gomes will, too, because there’s a chance in a ballpark with a large left field, like Yankee Stadium, Gomes and Victorino will flip-flop positions. How did he expect Bradley to handle moving over from center?
“Probably like he’s handled everything else this spring,’’ Farrell said.
--Gomes, who took three stitches in his left kneecap after banging it against the outfield wall in Sarasota on Wednesday, will be given a couple more days before he resumes playing in games.
Here is the Sox lineup:
Jacoby Ellsbury, cf
Dustin Pedroia, 2b
Shane Victorino, rf
Mike Napoli, 1b
Stephen Drew, ss
Daniel Nava, lf
Mark Hamilton, DH
Pedro Ciriaco, 3b
Lefty John Locke starts for the Pirates.
Unusual sight of the day: Several Sox pitchers in the left-field corner, firing balls against the grandstand padding and fielding the ball on a hop or on the fly.