Red Sox pregame notes: Allen Craig to begin rehab assignment soon; David Ross making ‘adequate progress’ with plantar fascia injury

August 15, 2014 - 5:23 pm
Allen Craig'€™s eventual return to the Red Sox lineup draws closer and closer. The right fielder has only played in one game with Boston after being acquired on July 31 in a trade-deadline deal with the Cardinals that send Craig and Joe Kelly to the Red Sox for John Lackey. In his debut with the Red Sox on Aug. 1, Craig tweaked his ankle in his final at-bat while attempting to run out a grounder at first. Red Sox manager John Farrell said before Friday's game against the Astros that he expects Craig to begin an assignment down in the minors within the next few days. "€œWe'€™re hopeful that he goes out on a rehab assignment early this coming week -€“ possibly as early as Monday," Farrell said. "€œHe came out of yesterday'€™s work of full BP, some running in the outfield, in good fashion. He'€™ll go through three more days of work prior to heading out." -- Catcher David Ross, sidelined since Aug. 2 with a plantar fascia tear, continues to improve after taking part in a variety of baseball activities over the last few days. While Farrell said that it'€™s looking more and more likely that Ross will not need to take part in a rehab assignment, he added the veteran catcher still has some big milestones to reach before he is able to return behind the dish. "We'€™ve still got to get some steps accomplished with David," Farrell said. "He'€™s set to catch a bullpen or two today. He started to do a little bit more running yesterday and came out of it feeling OK, so he'€™s making adequate progress as well." Other Red Sox Notes: -- Despite exiting Thursday'€™s game early after fouling a pitch off his shin in the seventh inning, left fielder Yoenis Cespedes is still penciled into the Sox starting lineup, batting fourth. Farrell said that Cespedes, who has driven in eight runs in 11 games with Boston, showed up at the ballpark in much better shape Friday. "He fouled a ball off his shin," Farrell said. "He was starting to limp around. He doesn'€™t want to relent to coming out of the game, you have to take it out of his hands. But he came in today ready to go and he'€™s back in the lineup today." -- Catcher Christian Vazquez'€™s great play behind the plate has drawn praise from many, including Farrell. When asked, Farrell said that the team is confident in Vazquez'€™s ability to make the right plays on defense, especially when it comes to making risky throws in an attempt to throw out base stealers. "€œWe turn him loose," Farrell said. "We give him the green light, if you will, to be aggressive. I think [PawSox manager] Kevin Boles has done a good job of monitoring that and maybe some situations where they'€™ve had to pull him back a little bit. We'€™ll remind him, in those one-run games, particularly if we'€™re up a run, maybe to temper some of that aggressiveness rather than give 90 feet or potentially two bases if it'€™s a throw down the right-field corner. But the one thing he'€™s shown in his throws behind runners or his trips to the mound or his game calling, the instincts are very, very good for a young player." -- Despite Vazquez'€™s talents on both defense and offense (12 RBIs in 22 games), Farrell said that the rookie catcher'€™s solid debut has not given the team incentive to not rush Ross off the DL as soon as possible. "Once [Ross] went on the 15-day DL, it was a minimum of that many days, so he'€™s likely to be right at that 15-day mark - 15, 16 days -€“ until he'€™s ready to come back. Christian'€™s play really hasn'€™t affected the total number of days missed by David."