CLEVELAND — A few pregame notes for you:
• RHP John Lackey (right biceps) played long toss out to 130 feet today. The plan is for him to pitch off a mound Thursday. From there, he would throw in the bullpen over the weekend. Game activity of some sort would start early next week. That could mean a simulated game or perhaps a minor league game.
"He's making very good progress," manager John Farrell said. "There's no symptoms remaining in the bicep area. He feels really upbeat and positive with the way things stand right now."
Farrell said there would have to be some kind of test before Lackey is activated off the disabled list. A definitive plan has not been mapped out.
"We want to do what's right for John from the health standpoint," said Farrell. "We'll take it start by start. We'd have to see how he responds and recovers."
• DH David Ortiz (right Achilles') will play for Pawtucket tonight and Thursday. "If all things go accordingly, there's a real possibility he could rejoin us on the homestand," Farrell said. "Optimistically, it would be at the start of the homestand."
• RHP Joel Hanrahan (right hamstring) played catch out to 90 feet. No date has been set to pitch off the mound, as Hanrahan would have to pitch from flat ground first. "No symptoms are reproduced from flat ground," Farrell said. "That's going to be intensity-related and the angle of the mound when it's incorporated."
The Red Sox have said that Hanrahan would be sent on a minor league rehab assignment before he comes off the disabled list. That woulds serve the dual purposes of testing his health and allowing him to work on his mechanics.
Will Hanrahan be the closer once he returns?
"I don't think we're sitting here today ready to make that claim," said Farrell. "I think we've got to get through some things first. Particularly how he responds with the hamstring. He's going to need a couple of of rehab appearances just to get himself going again.
"This is a bigger-bodied guy that is a power pitcher and we want to be sure that he feels comfortably physically before we bring him back to us. We'll work through that
at that time."
• LHP Franklin Morales (back) is scheduled for three innings and/or 50 pitches for Single A Greenville tonight as he starts his rehab assignment.
• LHP Craig Breslow (shoulder) pitched in an extended spring training game Tuesday and felt fine. He will pitch in an another extended spring training game Friday and then throw a bullpen session at Fenway Park Sunday before starting his rehab assignment with Double A Portland Tuesday.
• The Sox and Indians combined for 25 strikeouts and 15 walks Tuesday. That is the first time in major league history that has ever happened in a nine-inning game.
"Inconsistent strike throwing, in some ways. A lot of good stuff being thrown from the mound with the swing and miss that was totaled," Farrell said. "There's been a lot made of the strikeout rates climbing over the last couple of years. I can't pinpoint to a reason that's the case."