BOSTON -- Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury has resumed baseball activities as he works his way back from a compression fracture of the navicular bone on his right foot. He has hit off a tee and done some throwing. Yet, Ellsbury’s return date remains very much up in the air.
“A positive step. How quickly those activities will ramp up has yet to be determined but he’s begun them,” manager John Farrell said Friday.
In other pregame news:
* Shane Victorino, who left Wednesday’s game early with a jammed right thumb and then sat out Thursday, originally was in the Red Sox lineup Friday but later scratched. Farrell indicated the move is not any cause for alarm.
“We’re trying to find the right construction of a little bit of a pad for that [thumb]. He went through some adjustments with the pad, went back down and hit, felt great, tried to talk his way into the lineup,” Farrell said. “I felt like it was probably the right thing to keep him out another day.”
Victorino has battled a litany of annoying physical issues this season, namely back and hamstring pain. The speedy outfielder should benefit from some down time this week, two scheduled days off next week, and several days off before the beginning of a division series.
Farrell indicated that Victorino’s back and hamstring problems have largely passed. He is confident that the thumb issue will as well.
“This isn’t something that’s going to keep him out for a long period of time,” Farrell said.
* With the trip to Colorado comes the usual inquiry into whether designated hitter David Ortiz will see any action at first base. Even in the likely event that the division is wrapped up by then, it is very probable that Boston will still be battling to secure the best record in the AL and homefield advantage for all postseason series. With that in mind, Farrell said he may use his big slugger at first base in one of the games and resist any urge to get him off his feet for too long.
* Farrell said he was pleased to see the calm manner with which his players clinched a playoff berth Thursday. There were no wild celebrations or champagne or dancing on the field -- just a regular postgame atmosphere.
When asked if the team will be as poised if it clinches the AL East, Farrell was succinct.
“No,” he said with a smile.
One Boston win or one Tampa Bay loss and that celebration can begin.