Lackey undergoes MRI; Drew pushed back

TORONTO -- Greetings from Rogers Centre, where the previous occupant of the visiting manager’s office left a parting gift in the desk for this weekend’s occupant, John Farrell.

How thoughtful of Terry Francona, no?

“I can’t tell you what it was because you can’t print it,’’ Farrell said. “And no, it wasn’t a note.’’


Moving right along, here are a few quick hits from Farrell’s session with the media:

* Pitcher John Lackey was examined Sunday morning at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston by Dr. Peter Asnis, the team’s head orthopedist, and underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam. Farrell said he hoped to hear some results by midgame. Lackey was initially diagnosed with a strained right biceps, but Farrell said the club could not rule anything out until after the exam.

* Because Portland’s game was postponed Saturday, the Sox have elected to leave shortstop Stephen Drew with the Sea Dogs for games Sunday and Monday, thus pushing his return to Boston back to Wednesday’s game against the Orioles. Drew said he could use another eight to 10 at-bats before being activated.

* David Ortiz is scheduled to have three to four at-bats in an extended spring-training game Monday, followed by game action the following two days. Farrell said Ortiz had a full workday Saturday, running the bases, hitting in the cage, tracking Franklin Morales in the cage and taking a half-dozen rounds of BP on the field.

“His recovery time is becoming less and less,’’ Farrell said. “That's the gauge by which we ramp up the intensity. And his outlook has become more positive as time goes by, and he's in a good place right now. He's looking forward to the next progression.

“Our tentative plan for him is to have three of those games and then go out and join Pawtucket at that point,’’ said Farrell, which would put Ortiz on schedule to play in the PawSox home opener April 11. Tickets are still available. Top price is $12, with prices of $8 and $5 for seniors and kids.

The Sox are hoping Ortiz rejoins the team the third week in April. “He's not going to be in our lineup until he's ready,’’ Farrell said. “He's had a lot of input along the way. That's been our guide.’’

* The Sox's five-run outburst in the first inning Sunday is something they did only twice last season in their first at-bat, according to baseball-reference.com. They scored six once and five once. They are the first team this season to score at least five runs in the first inning.