BOSTON -- Stephen Drew is out of the Red Sox lineup for the fifth straight game Friday night, and no decision has been made on his immediate future.
Drew was expected to hit in the cage Friday afternoon and then undergo a re-evaluation as he wrestles with a strained oblique that intensified during batting practice Wednesday in Baltimore, manager John Farrell said. The veteran shortstop may undergo an MRI to determine the degree of inflammation, but that decision was expected to be made after intensified workouts, according to Farrell, who said Thursday that Drew could return to action over the weekend if all went well Friday.
Meanwhile, third baseman Xander Bogaerts is back in the lineup Friday after receiving a rare day off. Bogaerts had four straight 0-for-4 showings to finish the club’s recent road trip.
In other pregame news from rainy Fenway Park:
* Right-hander Brandon Workman’s appeal of his six-game suspension has been heard by Major League Baseball but no ruling has been made. The Sox expect a decision early next week.
“As of now Brandon is scheduled to start on Sunday [against Cleveland at home],” Farrell said.
* As the Sox and Cleveland Indians prepared to dodge the raindrops, Clay Buchholz and Will Middlebrooks were hoping to get their respective rehabs underway in Pawtucket. Buchholz is expected to go five innings for the PawSox at home against Charlotte, while Middlebrooks would serve as the designated hitter.
Middlebrooks is scheduled to play third base Saturday and then receive a day off Sunday.
Farrell made it seem as if the organization sees no need to rush Middlebrooks, who has been on the disabled list twice already this season.
“He’s got to get some repetition. He’s got to get back in the flow of things,” Farrell said. “It’s been quite a while since he’s been in a game. We don’t have a set time as far as X number of at-bats and he’s coming back to us. He’s got to go play, he’s got to go hit and he’s got to go get in the flow of things. We’ve got a maximum of 20 days, and I’m not saying we’re going to use every day, but we need to get him going and get the right-handed power bat that we know and believe and trust is still there.”
* Right fielder Shane Victorino will be in the lineup for the PawSox on Saturday as he starts his rehab from a hamstring strain. Farrell said Victorino will play 5-7 innings, receive Sunday off, and then play back-to-back games Monday and Tuesday. He will likely serve as the designated hitter in one of those games, after which the club will reassess his progress and make a decision on whether Victorino requires any more time in the minors.