Farrell quick hits: Drew out again

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A few quick hits from manager John Farrell’s media session before Saturday’s Grapefruit League game against the Baltimore Orioles:

* Farrell said shortstop Stephen Drew’s improvement from a mild concussion is “very encouraging,” but he will miss Saturday night’s game as Jose Iglesias gets another start.

Drew, who was hit in the helmet by a pitch on Thursday, went through a bicycle test to accelerate his heart rate and determine if it created any more symptoms of a concussion, and “while there were some at the very end -- the last sprint he did on the bike -- he’s definitely improved over a day ago. He’s day-to-day.”

Drew said it was the first baseball-related concussion he’s ever had, so he’s not sure what to expect.

“Kind of letting it lay low,” he said. “Feel a lot better today than I did yesterday. Had more energy, not as tired. Overall, taking it slow. You don’t want the symptoms to come back, and that’s where we’re at now. So far, so good.

“I don’t know what the next step is. I know tomorrow we’ll come in and they’ll do more testing and we’ll go from there. They’re looking at all symptoms. We’ve got three weeks before the season starts. So we don’t really need to rush into this.”

Asked if he will have any fear of getting back in the batter’s box, he said: “No, I got hit before. It’s one of those things. The pitcher was trying to throw a two-seamer in and it got away from him. I was trying to get out of the way and by that time, it was too late. It squared me up pretty good.”

When WBZ’s Jonny Miller mentioned that there were no helmets back in his day, Drew laughed.

“Tell you what: I’m glad I didn’t play in that era,” he said.

* Farrell, who had suggested earlier in camp that he might bat Dustin Pedroia in the three spot against left-handers, said he wants to keep Pedroia where he’s most comfortable -- and that’s the two spot.

“That’s important,” Farrell said. “You never want to take that away from his comfort level.

“Let’s say, for instance, there’s no restrictions on David (Ortiz). There’s a very real scenario to seeing Jacoby (Ellsbury), Dustin and David one through three and we work from there. The question or lineups and different scenarios, there’s been a number of them and they’ve even been written down on paper. But I also want to get to the point where guys are comfortable in their spot and know what to expect every day when they come in.”

Farrell said the lineup is “still in a state of flux” because of the absences of Ortiz, Drew and Shane Victorino, who’s representing the United States in the World Baseball Classic.

He said he expects Drew to hit in the bottom third of the order, but that it’s flexible right now.

“He’s hit anywhere from one to eight while he’s been in the National League,” he said. “So a spot in the order to him is probably a little less important, just as long as he’s on the field every day.”

* Mariano Rivera made it official Saturday morning: This season is his final one.

Forget about the numbers and his label as the best closer of all time, Farrell said.

“More importantly is the way he represents himself both on and off the field,” Farrell said. “Very respectful guy and very professional in every sense of the word. I think he’s a guy that many, many should look up to in this game.”

When it was pointed out that more men have walked on the moon (12) than have scored against him (11) in 96 playoff appearances, Farrell cracked: “I don’t plan on doing either.”