FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew, who hasn’t played since March 7 because of a concussion, traveled to Pittsburgh Tuesday to be examined by a specialist.
Drew felt improvement with his symptoms but still will see Dr. Michael Collins at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Wednesday and Thursday before returning to camp. Collins is the director of the Sports Concussion Program at UPMC.
“We don’t have any reason to think there’s more there,” said manager John Farrell. “We’re trying to get a better understanding of what is there. Just the fact that he’s still experiencing the same type of symptoms. We just to try to get our arms around it as best we can.”
Farrell said Drew would undergo a battery of tests. The shortstop was injured when he was hit in the helmet by a pitch. At the time, Drew stayed in the game for another two innings.
Drew later said he never had suffered a concussion in his career before.
“His care is first and foremost,” Farrell said. “The fact is, we’re still in spring training. We know the days are ticking by. But whatever measure we can take with his care being first and foremost, we’re going to do that.”
There seems to be no chance that Drew will be on the roster for Opening Day April 1.
“That’s window’s closing by the day,” Farrell said. “When you talk about an ordinary or somewhat normal amount of at-bats in spring training, those opportunities are starting to be removed.”
Farrell has indicated that Jose Iglesias would start at shortstop if Drew lands on the disabled list. Iglesias was 1 for 2 with a sacrifice in Tuesday’s 8-7 loss against Baltimore.
Dempster touched up
Sox starter Ryan Dempster had allowed three earned runs over 12⅔ innings coming into Tuesday’s game. He gave up that many in the third inning against the Orioles, who had four consecutive hits.
Dempster shrugged it off, pointing to the fact that he threw 73 pitches and is set to get to 95 in his next start. He also has been throwing his secondary pitches for strikes.
Dempster said once he gets his slider under control, he would be ready for the season.
“It’s good to get an inning like that and get extended and see how you bounce back,” Dempster said. “Because you’re going to get some innings like that during the season.”
Xander Bogaerts is expected back at Fenway South Wednesday after being away since Feb. 24 for the World Baseball Classic.
The 20-year-old will report to major league camp and spend at least a few more days with the Red Sox.
“He’ll remain in camp here for the time being, just to get him back so we can be with him and he can be with us and and see him on the field,” Farrell said.
Farrell said Bogaerts would play shortstop and possibly some third base. But any time at third base would be just to get Bogaerts some at-bats.
“Make no mistake, still in our eyes he’s a shortstop,” Farrell said. “We’ll get him a few more at-bats here before he begins his regular season.”
Bogaerts played mostly third base for the Netherlands in the WBC. He was 5 of 19 in the tournament with two doubles and one RBI in seven games. He did not play in the semifinal loss against the Dominican Republic Monday.
Bogaerts was 4 for 6 with a double and two RBIs in a pair of exhibition games with the Dutch team.
“The experience he had with the WBC, I think, is all positive,” Farrell said. “Would we have liked more at-bats? Sure. But I think that the fact that he played in that environment and on that stage outweighs maybe a few less at-bats he might have otherwise had here.
“All that being said, we’re happy for the experience that he went through.”
The Sox are sending only a handful of major league position players to Tampa to face the Yankees Wednesday. David Ross (who turned 36 Tuesday), Iglesias, Daniel Nava, and Ryan Sweeney will make the trip . . . The Sox likely will make another series of cuts Wednesday or Thursday . . . Two of the players fighting for spots on the bench — Lyle Overbay and Sweeney — can opt out of their minor league contracts next week if they are not added to the 40-man roster. Overbay can become a free agent March 26 and Sweeney March 28 . . . Sox catchers have thrown out 10 of 22 base stealers this spring. The latest came when Ryan Lavarnway nabbed Baltimore’s Lew Ford . . . Jackie Bradley Jr., who will face the Yankees Wednesday, was 1 for 2 and is hitting .439.Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.