BRADENTON, Fla. – Nuggets from John Farrell’s pregame press gathering:
• Stephen Drew: “Reports were that he had similar symptoms. If there’s no improvement by the end of the day tomorrow we’ll have him see Dr. [Michael] Collins in Pittsburgh,” Farrell said.
Farrell said Drew is not feeling any additional exertion symptoms when he does the stationary bike, but he is not ready to go to the next step.
• David Ortiz: Farrell completely ruled out taking batting practice today, as had been planned. “Still not ready for the next phase,” Farrell said.
Asked if it was a concern that Ortiz has now surpassed the 5-7 day period of rest with no major improvement he said, “A concern in that it’s going to be a couple more days than originally thought or projected.
"When he was shut down there was a 5-7 day period where we monitored how the medication was going to take hold and how the anti-inflammatory treatments were bringing that along. To what extent progress is being made, and there’s some, but not to the point where he’s ready to take it to the next step.”
• Lefty Franklin Morales threw from 60 feet as he returns from a bulging disc in his back. Farrell said the lefty will repeat the process at least twice more before advancing to the next level of throwing off a mound.
• Farrell’s assessment of the starting rotation: "It’s spring training. Overall it’s been consistent. Individual guys have taken the adjustments they’ve worked on, taken them into the games, and that’s has been encouraging. There’s been some reverting back at times to old habits. With each successive appearances they’re starting to solidify those changes which is why we’ve seen the consistency.”
"We’ve tried to get back to a basic formula. Attack the zone, throw more strikes. Work quick. Dictate the tone or tempo of the game. Guys are realizing if they’re in control it takes away the downtime where other thoughts might creep in. The defense likes it and umpires have made some candid comments."
• 1B/OF backup job: “We’re looking at those four guys – (Daniel) Nava, (Mike) Carp, (Lyle) Overbay and (Ryan) Sweeney. On a given day it’s a two-horse race or a four-horse race. Some separation at times but then good at-bats by Overbay and Sweeney. The defensive versatility is important, but we we’re going to measure this probably on the at-bats, which will be the overriding issue here,” Farrell said.
• Farrell said because of a deficiency in righthanded bats off the bench, Ryan Lavarnway and Mauro Gomez still are in the mix for a backup role.
• If Drew starts the year on the DL, Jose Iglesias will likely be the starter. Asked whether Pedro Ciriaco could start, Farrell said, “Jose has done very good job. Reading his comments he feels confident in the box. His work has been outstanding.”
Ciriaco should return soon from back spasms.