Sox activate Craig, option Hassan

BOSTON -- Their hand forced by nagging injuries to Will Middlebrooks and Mike Napoli, the Red Sox activated first baseman/outfielder Allen Craig (left foot sprain) off the disabled list on Thursday instead of having him play with Triple-A Pawtucket as originally intended. In a corresponding move, Alex Hassan was optioned to Pawtucket.

Craig is in the Red Sox lineup Thursday night, batting fifth and filling David Ortiz's role of designated hitter. Thursday marked a scheduled off day for Ortiz, who Farrell said was battling general soreness following his 4-for-4 night on Wednesday, which ended early as he was removed for a pinch-hitter in the ninth.

"Allen was scheduled for four at-bats and nine innings in right field with Pawtucket and we felt he could take those four at-bats and get him in the DH slot here," Farrell said.

Farrell added the team will have "no hesitations" in utilizing Craig as the 30-year-old came out of Wednesday's game playing right field for the Paw Sox physically fine. Craig also contributed at the plate in the contest, going 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Craig is expected to man right field on a regular basis for the remainder of the season.

"That is the position he's played the most," Farrell said. "The dimensions here might be a little different than Busch Stadium, but when you talk about the angles and trajectory of certain fly balls, he's most comfortable at that position."

Farrell also expressed long-term concern regarding the Lisfranc injury Craig dealt with in his left foot last year with the St. Louis Cardinals. Given that Craig didn't have surgery to fix the issue after last year's World Series, Farrell said surgery could be an option for the offseason depending on how Craig responds to consistent play for the remainder of this year.

"The injury he had last year was something that was given rest and recovery, rather than repair," Farrell said. "I guess it's debatable whether a repair was needed or recommended, but they chose the conservative path."

"Does the previous injury still give some instability? That's again debatable."

For now, Farrell said he's just looking forward to finally getting the chance to see Craig play on a consistent basis.

"Anytime you acquire a new player you want to see him first-hand and have him on the field. Now we have that opportunity to have that play out."

Middlebrooks available, Napoli questionable: Despite being held out of the starting lineup for the second straight day, Middlebrooks (hamstring) will be available if needed off the bench on Thursday. Napoli, however, is still receiving treatment for back spasms he suffered prior to Wednesday's game. His availability will be a game-time decision.