Stephen Drew could join the Boston Red Sox on Monday, as the team begins a three game series in Cleveland against the Indians. Plans are not quite set in stone but the team is hopeful that Drew will be ready, according to Quinn Roberts at MLB.com.
After signing Drew for the remainder of the season a plan was set in place to get Drew up to speed as quickly as possible. The initial belief was that he’d need about ten days’ worth of games, or at least 25 at bats, but he may end up just short of that number. Drew played three games with the team’s Class-A Greenville Drive before joining Triple-A Pawtucket earlier this week. He will play shortstop for Pawtucket on both Saturday and Sunday before the team makes a final decision on whether he is ready.
Drew has had 15 at bats so far, with four hits (two doubles) and seven strikeouts.
“The next few days will give us a read on where he is at,” John Farrell said. “When he was in Greenville, we spoke right after. By his own design, he wanted to see as many pitches as possible. He wanted to track the ball. We are trusting the fact that this is a veteran player getting back into shape.”
Even if he does join the team’s active roster on Monday, there are no guarantees how quickly Drew will be 100% up to game speed. After receiving a qualifying offer from the club after last season, Drew spent the whole winter coping with a quiet market and the season began with him still unsigned. While he worked out on his own, little can compare to being on the field day in and day out under the supervision of a Major League coaching staff.
“Stephen is a rhythm type of hitter and playing every day is key to that. We aren’t rushing to any evaluation on whether he’ll be activated on Monday or later on,” Farrell added. “It will be a process and we are fully accepting of that.”
Upon his arrival with the Red Sox the expectation is that Drew will share duties at shortstop, likely starting against right-handers with Xander Bogaerts sliding over to play third base. Drew, who’s historically struggled against lefties, will come off the bench with a southpaw on the mound. In 124 games for the Red Sox last season he batted .253/.333/.443 in 501 plate appearances – the best offensive season he’d put together since 2010.