Boston Red Sox: J.d. Drew

Drew: Out more than a few days

September, 1, 2011
BOSTON -- Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew, who has missed the last six weeks with an impingement in his left shoulder, was set to be activated from the disabled list today, but the club will hold off because Drew suffered a sprained finger during his minor league rehab assignment.

During his second at-bat on Tuesday with Triple-A Pawtucket, Drew swung at a fastball middle-in and fouled it off. Somehow when he finished his swing, his bottom hand slipped off the bat and he got his finger up against the knob, bending the finger back.

“The diagnosis is he can play as tolerated,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “He’s really sore, so we have to see where it goes. Whether it's a day, two days or a week, we don’t know.”

Drew was back with the team today and was on the field for batting practice. He explained the situation in the clubhouse afterward.

"Yeah, you know, had a good swing, and it was one of those things where very rarely does your bottom hand slip off the bat. I was just trying to maintain grip, and these two fingers caught the knob and it really torqued it pretty good,” he said. “I felt it, came out of the box, stood around for 30 seconds, finished the at-bat, finished two more at-bats, got a couple hits, thought I was all right.

"Woke up in the middle of the night, I had it wrapped up, and it was really pounding. Went in yesterday and tried to do some treatment, tried to take some dry swings, really painful, so I flew back last night, saw the doctors, took some X-rays, moved it around a little bit. Just kind of a day-to-day thing. I think it's going to be a little longer than a few days, but hopefully, once it calms down and the swelling comes out of there, we can make some progress as far as treatments.”

Drew said he wasn't sure when he'd return and described the injury in more detail.

"There's a small sliver of bone kind of pulled off of the ligament," he explained. "I don't know what they call it, but you can see there's a bone, and I guess when I torqued it, it kind of pulled that off. But one of the doctors said that's kind of a good thing, kind of promotes healing in that area versus just having ligament damage. It's real sore the last couple days. I think the soreness probably will start calming down, and starting tomorrow, treatment will start picking up, try to get range of motion and make a determination when we start going back hitting again."

Drew said his shoulder felt strong during his rehab assignment.

“It felt really good. My shoulder, strength-wise, is really good,” he said. “We've done a lot of work to get the strength back to where I wanted it. I was feeling really good there, having some nice rounds of batting practice, running well, felt good defensively.”

Then the finger injury happened.

“It was just one of those fluke things that this pops up in that situation,” he said. “I honestly didn't think it was going to be that bad. It hurt really bad when I did it, but I didn't think it was going to be that extensive of an injury until you wake up in the middle of the night and the thing is killing you. You realize something else is really going on.

"Unfortunately, it's my bottom hand. I think if it was my top hand it might be a little bit different. But the bottom hand is your power hand, the hand that has to stay on the bat. So we've got to make a determination. If I go up there and try to swing right now, as painful as it is and as loose as that ligament is, you jeopardize really tearing it. I think some healing time really is all it's going to take. As long as it heals and I'm pain-free."

Ortiz eyes Tuesday return; Drew to rehab

August, 22, 2011
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Designated hitter David Ortiz (bursitis in right heel) hit in the batting cage again today and will be re-evaluated to see if he can get out of the walking boot he’s been wearing for the last five days. Ortiz said he hopes to return during this series, and believes Tuesday could be the day.

“Now, it’s not so much comfort because when he hits he’s good,” manager Terry Francona said, “but as the point of tenderness goes away enough where the medical people think he can start doing some running and not go backward. He’ll be looked at every day.”

Francona also laid out a schedule for the return of right fielder J.D. Drew, who has been on the disabled list since July 26 with a left shoulder impingement. Drew will begin a four-game minor league rehab assignment Friday at Single-A Lowell and play two games for the Spinners. He will then return to Boston and hit with the Sox on Sunday before having Monday off. He’ll then play on Tuesday and Wednesday at Triple-A Pawtucket. If everything goes well, he’s scheduled to be activated on Thursday.

Reliever Bobby Jenks tossed a 24-pitch simulated game on Monday in Fort Myers, Fla., and Francona said it went well.

Jenks, who has been on the disabled list with back tightness, was able to throw all of his pitches and is scheduled to throw another simulated game on Wednesday.

"He did well. Actually he did real well," Francona said.

Drew: Shoulder injury 'coming along'

July, 28, 2011
BOSTON -- Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew finally discussed his shoulder injury Thursday morning for the first time since he was placed on the disabled list on July 26 (retroactive to July 20).

It’s being described as an impingement in his left shoulder and Drew explained the issue is with his rotator cuff. He said he has dealt with the injury since spring training and admitted he’s received a few cortisone injections this season, with the most recent coming last week.

“The shoulder’s been nagging quite a while, but everything’s coming along and I’m just trying to get some strength back in there,” explained Drew. “Impingement, irritation, tendonitis or whatever you want to call it has developed over a period of time and [the shoulder] has gotten weaker and weaker.”

Because of the discomfort, Drew developed a few bad habits at the plate and he says that’s why his offensive numbers are down this season. He’s batting .219 with four homers and 21 RBIs in 77 games.

Drew said he’s unable to create bat speed and he’s been jumping at balls. He called it a “frustrating battle.”

Drew always had one of the sweetest left-handed swings in the league during his career. It’s fluid and he keeps both hands on the bat during the entire swing process, but of late he’s been releasing his top hand, which has had a negative effect on his production.

“I’m just trying to battle through and get some strength back,” Drew said. “

In Drew's place, outfielder Josh Reddick has been playing well for the Sox and now has become the everyday right fielder.

“Josh has played great, man,” Drew said. “He’s probably one of the most improved players I’ve seen. He went from one extreme to another and it’s been fun to watch.”

It’s no secret that Drew is seriously considering retirement after this season, but right now he’s focused on getting healthy and returning to the lineup.

“Yeah. Oh, yeah,” Drew said. “I wanna get to a point where strength-wise, when I go out and start swinging the bat that I can control that irritation, so it doesn’t have too much of an impact. Once I’m pain-free I’ll be fine.

“This has been a frustrating year. Feeling the effects of this [injury] and trying to figure things out at the plate has been my main focus. I want to get back to normal, keep rolling and help this team in any way I can.”

If he’s able to return, he’s proven during his career that August, September and October are his most productive months. He has a .276 career average in August with 27 homers and 95 RBIs in 242 games. He’s also combined for a .291 average during the months of September and October, along with 42 homers and 141 RBIs in 262 games.

Drew officially on DL; Sutton recalled

July, 26, 2011
BOSTON -- The Boston Red Sox officially placed right fielder J.D. Drew on the disabled list with a left shoulder impingement and recalled infielder Drew Sutton from Triple-A Pawtucket, according to manager Terry Francona.

"J.D. will be DLed for real and Drew Sutton is recalled," Francona said.

Francona had before Monday's game that Drew was going to be placed on the disabled list, but the move ended up being delayed by a day.

In two stints with Boston this season (26 games), Sutton is batting .294 with seven doubles and seven RBIs.

Move to put Drew on DL delayed

July, 25, 2011
BOSTON -- During Monday night's rain delay, the Red Sox's move to put J.D. Drew on the disabled list -- like the game itself -- was put on hold.

Earlier Monday, Terry Francona had said the team was putting Drew on the DL with a shoulder impingement to clear a roster spot for Jon Lester.

But with the start of Monday's game with the Kansas City Royals delayed, the team said it would instead option pitcher Kyle Weiland before Monday's game to make room for Lester, and would place Drew on the disabled list Tuesday. It is expected Drew Sutton would be recalled to fill Drew's slot.

"We held off and made a different roster move," Francona said after the 14-inning loss. "There's a lot of moving parts and some of it is baseball and some of it is personal. We've got caught in some things that we're probably not able to talk about, but you're going to have to take my word for it. Sometimes personal stuff gets in the way."

For more on the roster moves, click here.

Drew put on DL to make room for Lester

July, 25, 2011
BOSTON -- The Red Sox will get some help for their banged-up rotation on Monday with Jon Lester returning from the disabled list to face the Kansas City Royals.

To open a roster spot for Lester, the Sox placed right fielder J.D. Drew on the 15-day disabled list with a left shoulder impingement.

Drew had an MRI taken last Saturday after receiving treatment for a while due to "wear and tear" according to Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

"Hopefully having a couple of weeks down will really do him some good," Francona said. "If he can get some strength back in that shoulder maybe we have a better chance of seeing the J.D. that we're hoping for."

Drew is hitting .219 with four homers and 21 RBIs in 77 games this season. Drew was recently replaced in right field by the hot-hitting Josh Reddick, who is hitting .358 with four homers and 19 RBIs during two separate stints with Boston (32 games) this season.

Lester returns to the mound after a brief stint on the DL with a lat strain he suffered on July 5 after four no-hit innings against the Toronto Blue Jays.

"It's stating the obvious that we're really excited to have him back," said Francona. "The only limitations we have tonight is probably a pitch count, and that's only because of common sense. He feels good and has no restrictions pitching and physically there are no issues there, which is really good."

With Lester returning to the starting rotation, rookie pitcher Kyle Weiland will remain with the parent club in the bullpen for now.

"Kyle's in the bullpen for the next few days and then there will be something we have to figure out," Francona said.

For more on Lester and Drew, click here.

Jon Lester

Are Drew's days in right numbered?

July, 20, 2011
BALTIMORE -- A changing of the guard may come as soon as Friday night in Fenway Park, when the Boston Red Sox come home and David Ortiz's three-game suspension comes to an end.

Even 35-year-old J.D. Drew, who after 4 seasons as the team's regular right fielder is on the verge of losing his job to 24-year-old Josh Reddick, acknowledges the possibility.

"I understand the ins and outs of baseball and what's got to happen when you've got a guy going well," Drew said after Tuesday night's 6-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles. The hot-hitting Reddick, playing left field, had his third three-hit game in barely a month since he was summoned from Triple-A Pawtucket, while Drew singled and grounded out twice.

"I want to get things rolling," Drew said, "but this team has to win ballgames. I want to see another postseason. Tito's got a decision to make. For me, it's a matter of getting to where I'm swinging the bat well, in whatever role. They'll figure it out."

Sox manager Terry Francona has expressed fealty to veteran players countless times and enthusiastically recounts how he has been rewarded for that loyalty, doing so again Tuesday on his weekly appearance on WEEI, mentioning Mark Bellhorn and Ortiz.

But Drew's situation recalls more the way Francona handled the shortstop position this spring, when he insisted for weeks that Marco Scutaro was his everyday shortstop until Jed Lowrie's scintillating start gave him no choice but to make a change.

Reddick is batting .367 in 28 games, with an on-base percentage of .418 and a slugging percentage of .671.

Drew is batting .223, with an on-base percentage of .309 and a shockingly low slugging percentage of .321, a product of just six doubles, a triple and four home runs in 77 games. He has driven in just 22 runs.

They call it "blind" loyalty for a reason. While the Red Sox at least entertain the prospect of making a blockbuster deal for another right fielder in Carlos Beltran of the Mets, an unlikely proposition according to one well-placed club source, it appears the Sox have reached a point of no return with Drew.

What would Drew do if he were manager?

"I don't know anything about that," he said. "That's not my decision. My thing is to get my swing where I want it and try to get it right. It just isn't falling into place the way I want it to.

"But that's why you keep pushing, you know? I'll figure it out."

For all of Gordon Edes' column, click here.

Video: State of the Nation from Arizona

July, 12, 2011

PHOENIX -- This week’s "State of the Nation" with Gordon Edes comes from the All-Star game in Arizona. Among the highlights and topics discussed:

-- The Red Sox enter the break red hot, but there is some concern about the health of the pitching staff as they come out of the break.

-- Talks to Tim Kurkjian about the Red Sox season so far. How they’ve rebounded from their 2-10 start and how concerned they should be about their pitching injuries?

-- What will happen with Josh Reddick/J.D. Drew when Carl Crawford returns?

-- Dustin Pedroia’s hot streak

-- Crawford’s expected return on July 18. He struggled in the first half of the season -- what the Sox can expect from him when he comes back?

Drew leaves game with bruise under eye

June, 26, 2011
Right fielder J.D. Drew left the Red Sox game against the Pirates in the bottom of the second inning with a left eye contusion.

Drew suffered the injury after fouling a pitch off his eye during batting practice before the game. He struck out looking to end the first inning.

Darnell McDonald replaced Drew in right field. McDonald's first cousin James McDonald was the starting pitcher for the Pirates.

The Red Sox are already shorthanded in the outfield with Carl Crawford on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.

Tito on Drew, Ellsbury, the 'pen and more

February, 13, 2011
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Red Sox manager Terry Francona touched upon a number of topics Sunday, ranging from Jonathan Papelbon and Bobby Jenks coexisting in the bullpen, the health of outfielders J.D. Drew and Jacoby Ellsbury, the competition for jobs in the 'pen, and the value of the running game. A few highlights:

*On whether there is concern about Drew and his troublesome left hamstring, which prompted visits to noted orthopedist James Andrews in Alabama and to the team’s medical staff in Boston:

“We’re going to try and not let it, but it’s something he has voiced some concern about. I don’t think he’s real concerned about it, but it’s been there. I don’t think we want it to be a concern. So we’ll certainly monitor it.’’

*On Ellsbury’s recovery from fractured ribs:

“He’s healthy now. He says he’s doing everything without limitations. It’s going to be fun to watch Els. A year ago, we were talking about him being our left fielder, being the leadoff hitter and being the game-changer. Now we've got a game-changer playing left field [Carl Crawford] and can move Els back to center and hopefully allow him to continue his development.

[+] EnlargeTerry Francona
AP Photo/Dave MartinTerry Francona said Sunday that on-base percentage can be more important than speed at the top of the lineup.
“He missed a lot of time. Early on, does that slow him down? We’ll see. If it does, then we’ll have ways to take the pressure off him. We can hit him lower in the lineup. We’ve been pretty open about that. If he’s feeling good, we’d love for him to lead off. If he’s not, we can protect him a little bit.’’

*On taking a slow approach with Jenks’ preparation this spring:

“He’s one guy, he’s been long-tossing, he’s not been off the mound yet. That’s just the way he always does it. I wouldn’t be surprised if you don’t see him in a game the first week [of exhibitions]. He doesn’t need to be. He’s always been extremely slow in spring training. No reason to rush it.’’

*On the improved condition of John Lackey and Josh Beckett:

“Lackey looks like he’s really worked. He’s thin. Even in his face. Beckett looks strong. Regardless of who you are, a lot of pride comes in with this. Both guys obviously went home and got after it. Hopefully it’ll pay dividends with their ERAs and won-lost records.’’

*On having a potential closer controversy with Papelbon and Jenks:

“I don’t think this is as much of an issue for Paps as maybe it was for people talking about Paps. He knows where I stand on this. I don’t think it’s much of an issue.

“There may be various reasons why he wants to bounce back, I’m not sure I care. Whether it’s financial, that’s up to him. I just want him to get a bunch of saves. It looks like he’s in great shape.’’

*On whether Papelbon will be motivated by this being his free-agent year:

“I think it will motivate him. I don’t think he’s ever been real hesitant to say that he aspires to be one of the high-bar, however you say it [highest-paid closers]. That’s OK.’’

*On whether he thought Jenks, who has only closed, will be comfortable as a setup man:

“I don’t think he would have signed here if he wasn’t comfortable. We tried to go to Bard too much last year, or wanting to go to Bard. [Jenks] is another guy you don’t have to match up because if he’s throwing the ball the way he can, he can get lefties and righties. That should really help us. There were too many games we either lost or had a chance to win because it got away from us in the seventh and eighth innings.

“Bard is probably the ultimate weapon in the bullpen. He has the ability like no other reliever in the league -- I might be leaving out a guy or two -- but he has that ability to finish an inning and go back out [for another] and we’ll use that to our advantage. He doesn’t mind it. I think he actually thrives on it.’’

*On speed vs. on-base percentage at the top of the order:

“Speed is good. You want ‘em to score runs. But in my opinion on-base percentage is more important than stolen bases. Sometimes your guys who can run are better off at the bottom of the order because they can run more free, rather than making outs with your better hitters up.

“You try to use good judgment. If you have a guy leading off and stealing 70 bases, that’s a weapon. If he’s not getting on base, that’s not much of a weapon. Carl Crawford said to me when we were in Houston that stolen base percentage is more important than anything, and I agree.

“We don’t want to rein them in, not if we’re going to be fast. I’d love to use it. But making outs on the bases doesn’t help you win.’’

*Francona also said that Tim Wakefield will be stretched out as a starter in camp, and that may be the approach with as many as 11 pitchers, including left-hander Felix Doubront. He also said that Jed Lowrie’s versatility might allow the club to carry just one extra infielder, although that will depend on health.

Drew provides breathing room

September, 19, 2010
BOSTON -- With the Red Sox holding on to a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, J.D. Drew gave Boston more breathing room with a two-run home run en route to a 6-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday at Fenway Park.

“That was a nice swing,” said Red Sox manager Terry Francona.

The shot was Drew’s 19th of the season, and he’s reached that number of homers in each of his last three seasons. He becomes the first Red Sox right fielder with at least 19 homers in three straight years since Dwight Evans accomplished it from 1984-1986.

Drew is batting .300 with two home runs and five RBIs in 11 games this month.

Drew sits out with sore ankle

September, 14, 2010
SEATTLE -- J.D. Drew acknowledged it was a “bonehead play” when he was thrown out Sunday in Oakland retreating to first base after a base hit. But the lingering effects went beyond mere embarrassment.

Drew said he rolled his right ankle when he lunged awkwardly back into the bag, and Monday he was out of the starting lineup against the Seattle Mariners.

“As soon as I hit the bag, I just rolled it,’’ Drew said. “I lunged in, and [first baseman Daric Barton] spun in and hit me. When he did, my ankle kind of kicked the outside edge of the bag, and pop.

“My left ankle, I’ve rolled it so many times that 10 minutes later I don’t know I did it. But unfortunately, my right ankle when I roll it gets a little bit tight and sore.’’

Drew lined a ball into right field in the fourth inning Sunday that he assumed would be a double off the bat. But, he said, because he has playing with tight hamstrings, he couldn’t run as hard as he normally would and realized that he might not beat Jeremy Hermida’s throw back into the infield.

“I thought, ‘I can’t make it.’ I stopped and kind of started to back up, but I didn’t have enough gas to get back. I couldn’t really dive because I was backing up. I’m backpedaling, and I was farther from the bag than I thought, so when I lunged I was too far. Boneheaded.’’

Without Drew, the Red Sox started an all-rookie outfield of Daniel Nava in left, Ryan Kalish in center, and Josh Reddick in right. Drew's absence came after he’d had three hits and a walk, only his third three-hit game in the season’s second half.

Coming into Sunday’s game, Drew had been batting just .207 (25-for-121), with an on-base percentage of .304 since Aug. 1. His overall line of .257/.347/.444/.791 ranks as his worst since 2002 in St. Louis.

Drew has spoken on a number of occasions this season about being taken out of his comfort zone by what he and other hitters have perceived as a change in the strike zone as called by umpires. The numbers back that up, at least to an extent: The percentage of pitches this season that Drew has swung at outside the strike zone is 20.6 percent, the highest it has been since 2003 (22.6 percent). That’s a big reason why his walks are down so much, from 82 last season to 58 this year, even though he has more plate appearances this season.

“What was middle, middle in to me, which are good pitches for me to hit, now feel like they’re in on me because I’m looking away so much,’’ he said.

“I’ve hit a lot of balls really well, and a lot of balls really bad. I had a terrible month of April and a terrible month of August. I haven’t had a good consistent rhythm for more than a few days. We’ll just try to battle through these last 19 games and see where we’re at.’’

Drew removed with sore hamstring

September, 9, 2010
BOSTON -- Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew was removed from Wednesday's game in the bottom of the sixth inning with a sore hamstring.

Drew singled in his at-bat that inning and reached third before Red Sox manager Terry Francona removed him for a pinch runner. Francona explained after Boston's 11-5 victory that he decided to remove Drew at that point in case the club needed to score on a sacrifice fly. Boston led 8-5 at the time.

"Kid, that is ridiculous"

August, 29, 2010

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- To the surprise of absolutely no one who saw it, Ryan Kalish’s catch Saturday night was the No. 1 “play of the day” on ESPN's SportsCenter.

The Red Sox rookie center fielder ran a fly pattern before going airborne to catch B.J. Upton’s liner into the right-center field gap in the second inning, rolling into a somersault and coming up on his feet for good measure. No catch, and the Rays would have scored at least one run, since there was a runner on first at the time.

“Unbelievable,’’ Red Sox right fielder J.D. Drew said of the play. “I thought the ball was by him. I thought it was a run for them. And it was an unbelievable landing. It was incredible to be running that fast and flip and pop up. He was going so fast he almost fell back over.

“I’m just excited for the kid. He’s fired up to be part of the game. He hustles, he plays every pitch hard, and when he makes a catch like that you can see how excited he was. I got a big smile. He flips over, comes up, he’s excited, he almost falls down.

“I said, ‘Kid, that is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.'’’

Rough night for Cameron against Tigers

July, 31, 2010
BOSTON -- Mike Cameron was totally disgusted with himself.

The Red Sox nearly erased a five-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth inning, thanks to a David Ortiz grand slam, and were trailing by a run against the Detroit Tigers. Boston had the game-tying run on second and the would-be game-winner on first.

Cameron stepped into the batter’s box with two outs and an opportunity to help his teammates prevail.
[+] EnlargeMike Cameron
AP Photo/Charles KrupaMike Cameron can't make the play on an RBI double in the first inning Friday against the Tigers.

He struck out looking. And, the Tigers finished with a 6-5 victory Friday night at Fenway Park.

“I had a chance to make something happen,” Cameron said. “He made a good pitch on that one. As sad as it may seem, I’ve got to chalk it up and tip my cap to him.”

In that at-bat, Tigers reliever Jose Valverde threw Cameron five straight fastballs and had a 3-2 count when he dropped in a splitter.

“I just didn’t get it done,” Cameron said. “It was one of those rough days at Fenway. I will not miss a day like that. I got one good swing in, fought it off and after that it was just kind of a battle.”

Even though Cameron was being hard on himself, Ortiz knew it was a tough pitch for Cameron to hit.

“That was filthy,” Ortiz said of Valverde's 3-2 splitter. “He’s got good stuff, man. Good stuff.”

Prior to game time, right fielder J.D. Drew was scratched from the lineup for the third straight game with a sore hamstring, while Cameron has been battling a severe groin/hernia injury all season.

Cameron also struggled defensively Friday night.

In the top of the first inning, the Tigers’ Will Rhymes lifted a fly ball to deep left-center field. In an all-out sprint, Cameron caught up to it, but the ball tipped off the top of his glove and dropped in for an RBI double. Cameron was clearly hurting after the play.

“Anytime I’m running, it doesn’t feel good,” he said. “It’s just part of it, man. It’s part of the grind. That’s just the way it is. Some people understand and some people don’t. That’s the way I choose to go out there and play and be the best I can possibly be.”

“I’m trying to be as productive as I can,” added Cameron. “Some days will be better than others.”

His gladiator-type mentality has not gone unnoticed on his teammates and manager. In fact, if Jacoby Ellsbury and Jeremy Hermida had been healthy all season, there’s a good chance Cameron would have been placed on the disabled list and had the necessary surgery to repair the damage. He’s gone this far and has learned to manage the pain and discomfort and will likely wait until the offseason to have the procedure done.

“He’s been unbelievable,” Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “The amount of time and effort he’s put in to stay out there has just been unbelievable. We’re very proud of him.”