BALTIMORE -- Perhaps due in part to not having Spring Training, Red Sox shortstop Stephen Drew was unavailable to start Monday's game against the Orioles due to some discomfort in his right oblique.
"He's feeling some soreness and tightness in the right oblique. He felt it in the last at-bat [Sunday] night when he grounded out to shortstop," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Believe me, we'd love to have him in there because of the success against [Bud] Norris. It's precautionary, but we've got to hold him out right now."
Obviously Drew's situation is unique, given that he was a free agent until May 19.
"You don't have the time to build a physical foundation as you would in Spring Training," said Farrell. "We have to be mindful of when some of these things that might come up in Spring Training, when you give him a couple of days to just get over it … that's not the case here."
Jonathan Herrera started at short in Drew's place.
Is it possible the Red Sox could have extended Drew's stint in the Minors to longer than the minimum of 10 days that was required once the club optioned him?
"Well, I think there are probably a number of things that go into negotiations," Farrell said. "I'm certainly not privy to those. But we felt like we needed depth to the left side of the infield, particularly with [Will Middlebrooks'] injury at the time. The move was made accordingly."
In his first four games since rejoining the Red Sox, Drew is 1-for-14.
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.