Red Sox manager John Farrell said right fielder Shane Victorino continues to improve but was not available for the opener of the four-game home series against the Indians.
Victorino, who experienced tightness in his left hamstring and departed in the sixth inning of Monday night’s 6-4 loss to the White Sox in Chicago, did sprints and other drills under the supervision of Dan Dyrek, the team’s coordinator of sports medicine service, and Rick Jameyson, the head athletic trainer.
“As we continue to ramp up the physical work and the physical activity, the information that we get back and how he responds to that is certainly helpful as far as our decision-making going forward,” Farrell said.
“He’s still day-to-day. He’s unavailable tonight. So, I think, we’ve used as a general rule of thumb, as we get to that halfway point of the potential of putting Shane on the [disabled list], we’ll make a decision at that point, but we’re no closer today to making a roster move.”
* Farrell also reported on the rehab stints of lefty Franklin Morales, who has been on the DL since March 31 with a low back strain, and catcher David Ross, who has missed 10 games since going on the seven-day concussion DL May 12. Both made appearances Thursday for Double A Portland in an 8-4 victory over Manchester.
Morales started and earned the win, going five innings and allowing one earned run.
“Franklin had five innings and 77 pitches and threw the ball well,” Farrell said. “David Ross was 1 for 3 and was fine as far as any kind of activity on the field.”
Farrell said Ross returned to Boston to be examined.
“He’ll probably get examined [Friday] when he comes in and that point we have the ability to make a roster decision,” Farrell said.
As for Morales? “Well, with him pitching today, he’s not available to pitch the next 4-5 days, minimum, so that’ll be taken into account over the next couple of days in our discussions of what potential moves we might make.”
* Farrell confirmed that he had indeed given David Ortiz the steal sign Wednesday night, when the lumbering designated hitter stole third for the first time in his career.
“It was a 3-and-2 count, and you put runners in motion,” Farrell said. “With his speed, he got it right and stole.”
Asked if that meant Ortiz (12 career steals) now has the green light to go at his discretion, Farrell chuckled and said, “I wouldn’t go that far. It’d have to be a big green light.”
Asked if Ortiz’s ability to stay on the field had met his expectations, Farrell said, “Once we got past those first 10 days of activity when he returned to us, the consistency of daily activity probably exceeded our initial thoughts.
“He’s responded, physically, in a good way. It’s not just because he’s jogging to first and coming back to the dugout. He’s run the bases quite a bit. So the overall durability has been a little bit better than I anticipated this year.”
* With former Red Sox manager Terry Francona in town with the Indians, Farrell was asked if he agreed with Francona’s assertion that Boston was one of the toughest places to manage.
“Well, I’ve only had one other managing job to compare it to,” Farrell said. “I think the individual expectations are higher than the external ones. We’re just 47 games into this. After 162, I might have a different answer, but right now it’s a great place to be.”