Red Sox pregame notes: Wednesday return a possibility for Jacoby Ellsbury; Felix Doubront to bullpen after Sunday start

September 22, 2013 - 9:03 am

The final days of the regular season are ticking down, and with them go chances to get Jacoby Ellsbury back in the lineup for a tune-up before the Red Sox open their American League Division Series Oct. 4. John Farrell said Sunday that Ellsbury '€” out since Sept. 5 with a non-displaced fracture of the navicular bone in his right foot '€” could return to game action Wednesday in Colorado. The manager and player'€™s exact words, however, didn'€™t exactly inspire confidence. '€œOptimistically from my end, hopefully he might be in the lineup on Wednesday,'€ Farrell said. Added Ellsbury: '€œWe talked about it as a possibility, yeah. I'€™m definitely ahead of schedule. Possibility.'€ Farrell said the biggest challenge is simply continuing to rev up baseball activity, not something Ellsbury can rush. Ellsbury has hit off of a day the last few days, he said. He has also tried to simulate his standard pregame routine as closely as possible. Ellsbury, still the major league leader in stolen bases with 52, isn'€™t worried about being game-ready once he does return to the lineup, particularly with respect to accelerating and timing at the plate. '€œI think my timing will still be there,'€ Ellsbury said. '€œI think it'€™s there now. Just doing all my drills down here felt good. First swing was a line drive. '€œThe goal is to do it before I play, so that will be the goal, to try to get all the stuff out of the way before I actually get in the game. The doctors are very pleased. Definitely ahead of schedule. The team, myself, feel very good about it.'€ Other Red Sox notes:                  -- Farrell said Felix Doubront, starting Sunday against the Blue Jays, will be available in the bullpen starting next weekend. That gives the team a three-game window to see what the left-hander might be able to provide in relief in a potential postseason roster spot. Doubront, who was not too keen on the idea of relieving earlier this month, may have a hard time finding his way into October baseball, barring injury to a Red Sox starter. '€œI know he'€™s made some comments about it lately, about the adjustments to his routine and what that might mean,'€ Farrell said. '€œThe difficult thing will be when he'€™s first available next weekend, how many opportunities can he get a look at from there? '€œObviously we have some decisions to make when it comes to our postseason roster, and all things will be taken into account.'€ -- First baseman Mike Napoli is out of the lineup '€” by design '€” for the second day in a row. He missed about a week in August with plantar fasciitis, and the foot issue is manageable but present enough that Farrell figures now is a good time to give Napoli several days off to '€œget ahead of it."