Thursday, February 14, 2013
Drew: Long process recovering from injury
By Joe McDonald
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- New Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew has seen a 2007 Red Sox World Series ring up close, but he did not wear it or touch it.
Stephen Drew is hoping to redsicover his power stroke with the Red Sox.
The ring belonged, of course, to his older brother J.D. Drew, who played five seasons in Boston and was a key member of the club that swept the Colorado Rockies in the Fall Classic. J.D. quietly retired after the 2011 season, and now Stephen is here and will wear his brother’s No. 7.
“Hopefully by the end of my career, hopefully this year we can bring a World Series here,” Stephen Drew said. “That’s the main goal when you look back on your career, you want to get there. I haven’t been there, yet. I’ve been to the playoffs in three of my seven years and I know it’s hard to get there. Overall, it would be a lot of fun to get there with this town, this city and this team.”
Drew’s presence allows the Red Sox to continue to develop shortstop prospects Jose Iglesias and Xander Bogaerts. Drew is a good defender and said he takes pride in that aspect of his game.
“I’ve felt really good the past two or three years with my defense,” Drew said. “That’s what I take pride in. The new form of shortstops is hitting and defense, but I’m kind of still old school, I like to do defense and then my offense will take care of itself. With Pedey over there (at second base), I think it’s going to be fine, we’ll mesh fine and we’re not going to have any problems.”
Offensively, Drew has a career .265 average with 77 homers and 349 RBIs in seven seasons in the big leagues. The left-handed hitter is looking forward to taking advantage of the dimensions of Fenway Park.
“I’m a gap hitter,” he said. “You can look over my career with the triples (52), then you have 420 in center [at Fenway] and the Monster, so if everything clicks and I can hit the ball the other way, off the wall on that side of the field is going to be a advantage for me.”
Health-wise, Drew has no limitations. He suffered a severe injury in 2011 while with the Arizona Diamondbacks, fracturing his right ankle sliding into home against the Milwaukee Brewers on July 20. He missed a total of 137 games between 2011 and 2012.
When he finally returned to game action last season, he played only 40 games for the Diamondbacks and was hitting a lowly .193 before he was traded to the Oakland Athletics.
“I feel good,” he said. “After that injury, that unfortunate accident, it was a long process getting back, but I feel good. All the hard work I’ve put in coming into this season, I hope it pays off. I put a lot of work into it and I’m ready to get going.”
Drew is low key, similar to his brother, but Stephen plays with a little more emotion than J.D. did. Stephen has talked to his brother about the playing in Boston and feels he’s up to the challenge and pressure.
“Being in the major leagues, you’re going to deal with that every night, no matter what,” Drew said. “It doesn’t matter where you’re at, you understand the pressures of the game. For me, I focus every day, one day at a time. Every game come out, be ready to play, and take the same approach. My preparation is always there and that’s what counts.”
When asked whether his brother’s retirement from the game two years ago surprised him, Stephen said it did not.
“Not really,” Drew said. “His body was not doing what it wanted to and he was frustrated. He had a good career, though. You look back and he had a great career. J.D. was very quiet and went about it as a pro and that’s something I look up to. He played hard and now he’s being Mr. Super Dad.”