FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Red Sox do not plan to set their 25-man roster until the 3 p.m. deadline on Sunday. The team will use the time to make a move to get Jackie Bradley Jr. on the 40-man roster.
Because that roster is full, the Sox will have to either designate a player for assignment or trade one to clear a spot for Bradley. Until then, he will not officially be on the team.
But Bradley did arrive at Jet Blue Park in a charcoal suit and will accompany the team to New York.
When asked if anything about spring training came as a surprise to him, John Farrell said it was how good Bradley was.
“Just reading about him, hearing about him, until you see him you don’t know fully what to expect but that’s been a good surprise," the manager said. "I think we had a pretty good idea coming in what to anticipate. But until you see it unfold and take hold, you get a better sense of it.”
• Shortstop Stephen Drew, out since March 7 with a concussion, is so close to getting in a minor league game that he will not travel with the team to New York.
“That’s the exact reason for it,” Farrell said.
Drew has been taking batting practice, fielding ground balls and throwing.
“He continues to report some further resolving of the symptoms. He continues to move in the right direction,” Farrell said.
The Sox want Drew to be able to play every day once he starts playing. Before Drew can get in a game, he has to be further cleared by doctors affiliated with Major League Baseball.
• David Ortiz, out all spring training recovering from an Achilles' tendon injury, will travel with the team to New York and will return to Fort Myers after that series. Farrell said Ortiz could take live batting practice or in games the week of April 8.
“There’s a framework in place that would target some time the following week to hopefully get some live at-bats,” Farrell said. “That’s the general time frame right now without being hard and fast to a given date.”
Ortiz has been running straight ahead and doing side-to-side agility drills. The next step for him will be taking turns. From there he would progress to running the bases.
• Farrell is planning to use backup catcher David Ross in the third game of the season, Thursday against the Yankees. “His involvement is going to be somewhat regular,” Farrell said. The Sox are open to using Jarrod Saltalamacchia as the DH with Ross catching. “Not going to use that as a deterrent,” Farrell said. “That’s a distinct possibility at some point.” If Ross were injured and left the game, the Sox would put Saltalamacchia behind the plate, give up the DH and use pinch hitters as needed.
• The Red Sox are still negotiating with Ryan Sweeney, who opted out of his minor-league deal on Thursday after being informed he would not be on the major league roster.
• Farrell sees Daniel Nava, not Mike Carp, as the primary backup at first base.
• Farrell likes the idea of hitting Shane Victorino second against lefthanders because he switch hits and has speed. But against righthanders, Victorino will hit well down in the lineup, Farrell said. Victorino has a career .881 OPS against lefthanders, .732 against righthanders. Nava will be the No. 2 hitter against righthanders, it appears, at least to start the season.
• Farrell said he was pleased with how spring training went for the Sox outside of the injuries for Ortiz and Drew.
“Overall I think we’ve had a successful camp,” he said. “We’ve been able to integrate the number of [new] players that have been brought in successfully. They’ve understood what we’re trying to get done as far as our approach every night.
“We’ve settled into some element of a lineup given who’s available. Certain David and Stephen coming back is going to positively affect that. … I think overall it’s been a very businesslike approach. The attitude has been great, the energy has been consistent and we’ve had a very concentrated effort.”
UPDATE, 12:45 p.m.: Not that this will come as any great shock to you, but righthanded reliever Clayton Mortensen is on the roster. That seemed pretty obvious when Daniel Bard was optioned to Pawtucket a few days ago, but Mortensen asked John Farrell just to be sure.