Sandoval sidelined with back stiffness

Shaw gets chance to continue hot spring for Red Sox

Sandoval sidelined with back stiffness

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Travis Shaw, who is having an impressive Spring Training, will have more of an opportunity to gain ground in the third-base competition in the coming days.

Third baseman Pablo Sandoval will be sidelined for at least the next couple of days with lower back stiffness. Shaw started Thursday's game against the Mets, going 0-for-3 at the plate in a 4-1 victory.

Sandoval sustained the injury on Tuesday, when he made perhaps his best defensive play of Spring Training.

Shaw driven by healthy chip on his shoulder

"He dove to his backhand side over against the Marlins the other day," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He was in here getting treatment most of the day yesterday and again today."

Farrell said that at this point, Sandoval is not in jeopardy of opening the season on the disabled list.

"The biggest thing is, we've got to get him back on the field first," said Farrell. "See if there are any restrictions physically. We've got to get him right and that's the next step in this, before anything solidifies before the opener."

Right-handed pitcher Koji Uehara, who hasn't pitched since Saturday, is also dealing with a nagging injury, with what Farrell termed "general soreness."

"He's going to be more aggressive on flat ground early today, throw a bullpen hopefully tomorrow, and then we look to get him in a game following that," Ferrell said.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.