Pregame notes: Cespedes good to go

BOSTON -- After the Red Sox's 9-4 win over the Houston Astros on Thursday night at Fenway Park, Red Sox outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was sitting at his locker, sporting a couple of ice packs on his body.

He exited Wednesday's game in Cincinnati with a hand contusion, but was back in the lineup on Thursday. Late in the game, he fouled a pitch off his left shin and was clearly in some discomfort. He remained in the game and after grounding out, he limped off the field, down the dugout steps, before manager John Farrell checked on Cespedes, who remained in the game but was eventually taken out in the last inning.

"He doesn't want to relent to coming out of the game, you have to take it out of his hands," Farrell said. "But he came in today ready to go. Back in the lineup today."

Since arriving in Boston at the trade deadline, Cespedes is 11-for-46 (.239) and has reached base in 10 of the 11 games he's played for the Red Sox.

"He seems to be gaining comfort by the day," Farrell said. "Just in conversation, he's a quiet guy that we've come to know so far. The more questions you ask him, the more he's comfortable with his teammates and the surroundings. I think he's gotten his feet on the ground in a good way here."

• The Red Sox are hopeful outfielder Allen Craig (foot) can begin a minor league rehab assignment as early as Monday, according to Farrell. Craig took batting practice and ran in the outfield Thursday with no ill effects. He's scheduled for three more days of baseball activities before a decision is made on whether to send him on a rehab assignment. It has not been decided how many games he'll need before Craig is activated from the DL.

• Red Sox catcher David Ross (plantar fasciitis) is less likely in need of a rehab assignment, according to Farrell. Ross has been taking BP the last few days and he's scheduled to catch a couple of bullpen sessions today. He also began running drills on Thursday and came away feeling good. Farrell said Ross is making "adequate progress."

• Since having season-ending back surgery on Aug. 5 in Los Angeles, Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino is progressing as expected, according to Farrell.

"He's following a pretty standard protocol right now," Farrell said. "And that's just gradual activity of walking, knowing where all the functional movements of any kind yet. The following checkup did not have anything alarming. He's following the normal protocol."

Victorino told the media last weekend in Anaheim that he expects to be ready for spring training.

• Cumberland (Rhode Island) Little League will represent New England in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, and Farrell had an opportunity to speak with the players Friday before their first game. It's become a tradition the last few years for the sitting Red Sox manager to talk with the New England champs.

"They were energetic, great questions," Farrell said. "Really pumped up about playing tonight."