FORT MYERS, Fla. — David Ortiz underwent MRIs on both heels Saturday morning, more as a precautionary measure, but also to determine why he is having so much soreness in the heels rather than in the Achilles’ tendon strain he’s been dealing with since last July.
“Just to rule everything out,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “I think the one thing that we still hold in all this is that, while the timing might not be what was maybe initially expected, the bigger picture is he’s still making progress.
“He’s been able to run the bases, as we know, on the day that he has. He’s been taking [batting practice] every single day. There’s progress, yet maybe not as fast as he might have anticipated or hoped.”
Farrell didn’t rule out that Ortiz could play on Opening Day and was hopeful that still could occur.
The Sox had hoped Ortiz could get 50 at-bats between major league and minor league games between now and the end of camp. That’s still possible, but so far Ortiz has not been able to sustain his running program.
The Sox also are looking at the big picture. And they may feel Ortiz missing 10 games at the start of the season is better than missing 40 games down the road.
“We’ll see how this week goes,” Farrell said. “We don’t have a date earmarked.
“Our goal is to have David in our lineup for the greatest number of games that we can throughout the course of the year. It’s not like April 1 is a drop-dead date for an entire season. We’re not going to rush to any decision where we’re saying, ‘You know what? Opening Day is out.’
“He’s frustrated. I think he expected this to be moving along at a little bit more of a rapid pace. But we support him and we’re going to do whatever we can to get him on the field for the greatest number of at-bats this year.”
Farrell was asked if starting Ortiz on the disabled list could open the door for youngster Jackie Bradley Jr.
“That discussion is yet to be had,” Farrell said. “Regardless of who would fill out the 25-man roster, you know what, I can’t sit here today and say that’s not an option that wouldn’t be discussed.
“Keep in mind that we fully expect Jackie to begin the season in the minor leagues. So we’ll see. We’ll work through the combinations that exist here in camp and, again, we haven’t ruled out David, either.”
Farrell said the lineup is currently “in a state of flux,” but the staff has kicked some ideas around.
The manager, in fact, said he could foresee a top three of Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, and Ortiz, “if there are no restrictions on David.”
Drew feels betterShortstop Stephen Drew felt better after suffering a mild concussion Thursday when hit in the helmet with a pitch, but he still was unable to play Saturday night vs. Baltimore at JetBlue Park.
“I got through the game and had no symptoms and played two or three more innings,” said Drew.
“I went home, and watching TV, icing my foot, I started to get a headache. I tried to do some reading and had slight blurriness. The trainers treated it as a slight concussion.
“I felt a lot better today than I did yesterday.”
The league requires that all players who have suffered a concussion take an online test before they’re able to play. Drew said he had not taken that test yet.
Felix Doubront pitched three innings in Saturday night’s 5-2 loss to the Orioles and allowed two runs and one walk with five strikeouts. “I felt strong. My arm responded really well. I’m very happy. I concentrated on pitching tonight and not the shoulder,” he said. Doubront came into camp a bit out of shape, and his pitching shoulder was sore. But he says the soreness is gone. He threw 51 pitches and he appears to be back on track to win a spot in the rotation . . . Farrell was impressed with closer Joel Hanrahan, who is planning to board a flight to Boston on Sunday to be with his wife, who is expecting a baby boy. Hanrahan struck out two in his one inning. “I didn’t leave any balls over the plate,” he said. “That part was the most encouraging for me.” The righthander expects to return to the team by Thursday.
Lefthander Franklin Morales indicated with his facial expression and a gesture to his lower back that he was in pain in the Sox clubhouse. Morales is likely to start the season on the disabled list since he appears way behind at this point. The Sox were going to extend him as a starter and then have him work out of the bullpen . . . The Sox worked out journeyman lefty Cedrick Bowers, who is trying out for teams in Florida . . . Lefthanded prospect Henry Owens impressed with his velocity at the minor league camp . . . The Sox continue to be impressed with shortstop Jose Iglesias’s offensive approach, both in batting practice and games . . . Limited partner Mike Gordon entertained a number of Jimmy Fund patients in his suite.Nick Cafardo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nickcafardo.